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Leaving an abusive relationship

Why is it important to plan carefully?

Carefully planning to leave an abusive relationship is a way to better protect yourself. It will help you to consider all the options and scenarios and think about how you can overcome the difficulties you encounter. A safety plan can also help you prepare to leave the house in an emergency. If you decide to leave your partner, please let Sophia find the nearest support services for you, who are here to help you every step of the way:

1. Click on the Sophia picture on the bottom right corner of this website.
2. Type “help”
3. Type the country that you are in and Sophia will show you the nearest help available.

How to leave an abusive relationship

In order to leave an abusive relationship, it is important to have a well thought out plan in advance. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Take every precaution to make sure your partner doesn’t suspect anything, otherwise he or she may make the situation worse and interfere with your plan. Avoid any confrontation that might hinder your plan.
  • Plan in advance where you will be able to go and ensure availability and safety. If you have no idea yet, here is a list of shelters that might be useful (Link: list of shelters).
  • Choose the right way and time to get there to avoid your partner stopping you from going or following you.
  • Take with you all the important documents you will need. Feel free to scan them for a digital version and keep them in a secure area that you can access later.
  • If you have children, make sure you take them with you when you leave, as your partner may take the violence out on them or use them to get at you.
  • Always carry emergency contact numbers or the following numbers with you:
  • If possible, save a small amount of money in a separate account that your partner does not know about

If you want to know more: Prepare to leave

Even when your partner is not present, be extremely careful as they can still spy on you with hidden cameras or concealed microphones. Be extremely vigilant in your discussions and actions even if they are not nearby.


Read more on the Women Aid’s website.

What should you take with you?

Between the pain, fear, desperation, and rush, it’s easy to get lost. Remember, leaving your home is not just about leaving your partner, it’s about being able to get on with your life safely. To do this, you will inevitably need some papers. Here is a non-exhaustive list to guide you:

  • Official identification (passport and/or ID for your and your children).
  • Birth certificates for you and your children
  • Passports (including passports for all your children), visas and work permits
  • Money, bankbooks, chequebook and credit and debit cards
  • Keys to your home, car and workplace. (You can have an extra set of keys cut and put in your emergency bag)
  • Cards for payment of child benefit and any other social benefits you are entitled to
  • Driving licence (if you have one) and vehicle registration, if applicable
  • Prescribed medication
  • Copies of documents relating to your home (for example, mortgage details or lease and rental agreements)
  • Insurance documents, including national insurance number
  • Address book
  • Family photos, diary, jewellery, small items of sentimental value
  • Clothing and toiletries for you and your children
  • Your children’s favourite small toys
  • You should also take any documents relating to the abuse – for example, police reports, court orders such as restraining orders, and copies of medical records if you have them.
Read more on the Women Aid’s website.