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There is no exact guide for leaving an abusive relationship safely. Trust your feeling of what is safe for you and your children in the situation you are in and with the options you have. If you are considering leaving, you may want to think about the following questions.

1. Who will know that you are considering leaving?

Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous. It is a good idea to only talk about the fact that you are considering leaving with the people you trust. It is safer not to tell the abusive partner or husband.

2. How will you communicate?

It is not safe to use social networks or chat apps (Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.) in your phone that do not require you to log in with a password to communicate about leaving. To communicate about your situation and your leaving safely, you can set up a new email address that only you will know about and that you will not use on your phone or home computer. Remember that you can be located and tracked through electronic devices and the apps on them.

3. What information and contacts will you need before you leave?

When preparing to leave, it is useful to look up contacts for organisations for women experiencing violence in your area and think about how and where to store these contacts safely.

If you suspect that your partner or husband is monitoring or checking your computer or phone, it is safer to seek information about help through a secure device that he has no access to.

4. What will you need for yourself and your children?

In addition to your personal belongings, you may want to prepare official documents, ID’s, contracts of which you will need an original or a copy, money, bank cards, evidence of your partner’s violent behaviour. What you can take with you may also depend on where you will be going, what means of transport you will be using to get to safety and how much time you will have to leave.

As a result of the risk, you may have to leave home suddenly. It is therefore a good idea to think about whether there is someone you trust with whom you can safely store basic clothing and toiletries, school supplies for the children and a few of their favourite toys, copies of important documents and papers, and other essentials in case of an emergency.

5. Where will you go?

For some women, an affordable and safe option is to go to someone who is close to them and who supports them. For other women, it is safer to go to a place where their abusive partner will not find them so easily. Such a place might be a women’s safe house or an emergency housing facility for women experiencing violence and their children.

6. How will you leave and who can help you?

Think about how to get safely to the place you plan to leave to. If you decide to drive, consider whether you can have any tracking or location devices installed in your car.

Think about whether there is someone you trust who could be with you when you leave to help you with the children or to drive you to a safe place. If there is such a person in your immediate area, you can also agree what to do if your husband or partner returns home unexpectedly while you are leaving, whether it will be necessary to call help and who will do so.

7. When is the safest time to leave?

When thinking of leaving safely, you may want to consider which day or time is the safest. It is also good idea to consider possible unexpected events, such as your husband or partner returning home unexpectedly at the time you are leaving and what you will do in such situation.

If your life or health are in danger, call the police emergency number 158.

8. How and when will you talk to your children about leaving?

It can be difficult for children to leave. They may be scared, worried or sad about leaving familiar environment. They may not want to leave at all. If you talk to them about leaving ahead of time, a situation may occur that they will tell your partner that you are planning to leave. Therefore, it is important to think about when and how you will talk to your children about leaving and what you will do if they refuse to leave. Consider your safety, as well as the safety of your children when doing this. If the children do not want to leave, think about how your partner can take advantage of the situation and portray you to the institutions as not being interested in the children.

9. What happens next?

The period after leaving can also be dangerous. The abusive partner or husband may seek you out, report your leaving to the institutions or contact you. He may seek you or the children out at places you frequent (work, school, and or the nursery the children attend). You can think about how you will go to work, school or nursery. You can alter your route, ask someone to accompany you. Give the new address only to people you really trust. You may also want to consider telling your children’s nursery or school about your situation.

10. Do you need help?

If you need to talk about how to leave safely, if you are worried about leaving or about your partner’s reaction to you leaving, you can contact organisations for women experiencing violence in your area. They can provide you with additional help and support even after you have left an abusive relationship.

It may be that, despite your preparations, you decide not to leave the relationship after all. This is understandable because leaving an abusive relationship is both very difficult and dangerous. Nevertheless, it is good that you have gone through the planning process and that you will be able to use the experience in the future, in case you consider leaving or ending the relationship again. It is important that when you are considering leaving, you know that leaving or ending an abusive relationship does not necessarily mean the end of violence.

For more information, see


< 16 / 16 >

Does your partner justify his violent behaviour by drinking or having a bad day at work, etc.?

< 15 / 16 >

Has your partner ever prevented you from leaving the house?

< 14 / 16 >

Does your partner force sex or sexual practices that are uncomfortable for you?

< 13 / 16 >

Does your partner threaten to take your children away from you or not let you take them with you if you try to leave him?

< 12 / 16 >

Has your partner ever prevented you from taking necessary medication or seeking medical help when you needed it?

< 11 / 16 >

Does your partner force you to do things you don't want to do?

< 10 / 16 >

Has there been a situation when your partner did not give you money and you could not buy things you needed for yourself and your children because of this?

< 9 / 16 >

Has your partner ever threatened you?

< 8 / 16 >

Has your partner ever hurt you or your children?

< 7 / 16 >

Have you ever had a partner deliberately destroy your personal belongings or your children's personal belongings?

< 6 / 16 >

Do you sometimes change your behaviour because you are afraid of what your partner will say or do to you?

< 5 / 16 >

Are you sometimes afraid of your partner?

< 4 / 16 >

Does he criticize, humiliate, insult, berate you?

< 3 / 16 >

Does your partner accuse you of flirting or having relationships with other men?

< 2 / 16 >

Does your partner control you or stalk you?

< 1 / 16 >

Does your partner prevent you from seeing friends or family?


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