There may come a time when you feel the only option is to leave a relationship.

It is never too early or too late to leave an abusive relationship - your safety matters.

Careful planning is vital, because abusers can become more violent, dangerous or controlling and can continue to pose a danger after you have left too. It is vital that the abuser does not find out that you are trying to leave - it is a time to be especially cautious.

Remember: ending a relationship will not necessarily end the abuse.

That is why it's so important to access specialist support from either Liaison Officers at Report and Support, or Independent Domestic Violence Advisors in local centres. You are not alone, and we are here to help you.

If you are in Immediate Danger, please follow the instructions on this page. 

Specialist Support - University

You can disclose the relationship abuse via the 'Speak to an Advisor' form on Report and Support and a specially trained Liaison Officer will respond within 2 University Working Days to help support you in understanding your options and make a plan to leave. We will not tell you what to do, nor will any disclosure automatically trigger a formal complaints process. 

Specialist Support- External 

You can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in confidence, 24 hours a day, on 0808 2000 247. 
The helpline advisors will not tell you what to do, but support you to understand your options and make a plan. They can also let you know about specialist services in your community and help you find a refuge place. 

Making a Plan: 

  • Think about the abusers' routines and choose a safe time to leave, when they will not be present or nearby. 
  • Consider where they will be and when. Plan a safe route where you should not cross paths, and avoid things like local taxi services in a small town, in case the driver tells the abuser where you have gone. 
  • It is important that you do not tell anyone who may pass information on to the abuser. 
  • You should also consider whether the abuser might be able to figure out where you are, especially by using technology. Ensure all tracking apps, or geo-location such as SnapMaps and Find my Friends are switched off. Find out more about securing your devices and your social media accounts. 
  • If you think the abuser has access to your phone, messages or calls, you could use a friend's phone or buy a cheap 'burner phone.' 
  • You may need to delete any searches related to looking for support on your internet history.
  • Come up with a code word. Establish a word, phrase, or signal you can use to let your children, friends, neighbors, or co-workers know that you're in danger and they should call the police.
  • If safe to do so, without the abuser noticing, pack an emergency bag for yourself and your children if relevant. In this bag keep some cash, important documents (ID documents, Passport, National Insurance Number, Driving Licence, Marriage Certificate, Financial Records, Letters addressed to your house, Student/ Staff Card), a set of keys, some clothes, any medication, phone charger and emergency numbers. This could be kept safe at a neighbour or friend’s house, so you can leave in a hurry and still have your essentials.
  • Make sure you know all of the possible exits you can use. Every door, every window. Know in advance which doors lock and how the locks work, and the same goes for windows. Maybe you can just walk out the front door. If so, do that. 
  • Take your children with you if at all possible. If they are at school, make sure that the Head Teacher and all your children’s teachers know what the situation is, and who will be collecting the children in future.
  • If possible arrange a place to stay, this might be a home of  trusted friend or family member, but it is vital that the abuser doesn't know the location. Or you might want to go into a refuge, refuges should try to adapt their accommodation to meet your needs. More information on housing options can be found here. 
  • Do your best to stay as far away as possible from the abuser so that you can break the cycle. The abuser might try to do everything they possibly can to get you to return to them. Rely on the help of family, friends, support services and/or shelter staff to keep you focused on what's most important: your safety.

Leaving an abusive relationship isn't easy, but you deserve to live free of fear and your safety is priority number one.

  • You are not to blame. 
  • You are not the cause of their abusive behaviour. 
  • You deserve to be treated with respect. 
  • You deserve a safe and happy life. 
  • You are not alone. There are people waiting to help. 

There are two ways you can tell us what happened