Leaving Safely


If you are suffering domestic violence and think your attacker may check your internet activity, use a friend’s computer or go to the public library or an internet café. It is possible to clear your history pages by going to Internet Options, but it is difficult to remove all records and we would strongly advise you to use another device if you are at all worried.

Many people flee their homes on the spur of the moment, when their life is in danger this is often their only option. However, if you are thinking of leaving, the information below, based on UK Home office advice, will make sorting your life out afterwards a lot easier.

  • Don’t wait until you are being attacked, make plans in advance and leave when it is safe.
  • Pack a small suitcase with essential clothes. If possible, leave it with a friend where it won’t be found.
  • Take your children with you if possible.
  • Take all important documents such as birth certificates, passports, bank details etc.
  • Take any prescription medicines you or your children need.
  • Take spare house keys. If you need to return ask the police to accompany you.
  • If you have a mobile, make sure it is charged.
  • Have a small emergency fund for fares or phone calls.

Try to get some advice from one of the agencies listed on this website. They will give you information about housing, benefits and support. Most law firms have a partner who specialises in Family Law. National Centre for Domestic Violence for 24 Hour Emergency free advice on 0844 8044 999 or Text “NCDV” to 60777 or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once you have left, do not arrange to meet your abuser alone however sincere their remorse appears.


Warning Signs of an Abusive Personality


  • Questioning you about who you have spoken to
  • Constantly phoning, texting, surprising you
  • Accusing you of flirting

Controlling Behaviour

  • Making all the decisions for you
  • Often masked as concern for you and your safety
  • Anger at your coming home late
  • Not allowing you to make personal decisions or penalising you for making “wrong” ones

Quick Involvement

  • Often claim love at first sight
  • Seem too good to be true
  • Make you feel guilty and pressure you into committing to relationship too soon

Unrealistic Expectations

  • Expect you to be the perfect parent / lover / friend
  • “If you love me, I’m all you need”
  • Blame you for not being perfect


  • Stop you going out with family / friends etc
  • Accuse your family / friends of causing trouble
  • Stop you working / using transport
  • Move you to another location

Blame Shifting for Problems

  • Always someone else’s fault eg. Loss of job because “they didn’t like me”
  • Someone is always out to get them
  • Becomes your fault for upsetting them / preventing them from doing what they wanted

Blame Shifting for Feelings

  • Deny their own problem and blame you
  • Make you responsible for their wellbeing
  • Make you responsible for everything negative in their life


  • Most abusers have low self esteem
  • Claim to be hurt when really angry
  • If you prefer something different to them they take it as criticism

Cruelty to Animals

  • Insensitive to an animal’s pain or distress
  • Punish animals excessively
  • Deliberately forget to feed them

Cruelty to Children

  • Think of children as small adults and blame them for not being responsible
  • Punish the child for “being naughty” when they don’t understand eg. A 2 year-old wetting themselves after a nightmare
  • Want all the attention for themselves . . . jealousy . . . keeping children in their room

Playful use of Force in Sex

  • Pretends to like something new
  • Pressurises you to agree to forceful or violent acts
  • Having no concern for how you feel eg. Demanding sex while you are asleep . . . being sexually violent

Rigid Sex Rules / Stereotpes

  • Expect you to serve and obey them
  • Tell them that you are stupid and inferior
  • Sees you as not being whole unless you are in a relationship

Verbal Abuse

  • Says things in private and public that are cruel and hurtful
  • Runs down any of your accomplishments
  • Tells you that you are stupid . . . may keep you up all night trying to sort out something that is a figment of their imagination

Dr Jeckyll or Mr Hyde

  • Not constantly harsh or nasty
  • Normal and pleasant to the outside world
  • Can be kind one minute and explosive the next

Drink or Substance Abuse

  • Excessive misuse of alcohol / drugs can be a warning sign of an increase in abuse
  • Does not need to take responsibility
  • 60% link

History of Battering or Sexual Abuse

  • “Not my fault . . . they (victim) made me do it”
  • “You wont be stupid enough to wind me up like that”
  • Past violence is one of the strongest indicators that the violence will continue

Threatening Violence

  • “If you do . . . I will hit you”
  • Threats to manipulate or control you
  • Tells you that you are over-sensitive when they have gone too far

Breaking or Striking Objects

  • Throwing something at you / the wall
  • Hitting you or breaking something
  • Having childlike tantrums to terrorise you

Any Force during an Argument

  • Restrain you from leaving the room
  • Pin you against the wall
  • Lash out at you with their hand


It is all about Power and Control

See http://www.duluth-model.org

for control wheel video see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OrAdC6ySiY