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Preparing to Leave the Relationship

Most important point, if you feel you are at immediate risk of harm dial 999.

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Below is some general advice which you could tailor to your individual circumstances. Nothing will replace the advice of a Solicitor if required.

When considering any of the advice below please ensure your safety and consider each action before undertaking it, do not put yourself at further risk. A friend or family member may be able to help you.

Please contact us for more help and advice.


If you are still in the relationship whenever possible avoid conflict with your abuser, avoid inflammatory situations and occasions where alcohol or drugs are involved. If an argument starts, try to move to a lower risk area of your home away from the kitchen, bathroom or garage for example. Move to a room that has an exit to the outside if possible.

In an emergency dial 999.

Have keys for doors and windows ready. Plan how you will get out of any room in your home. Put things such as car keys, money etc in a safe place or even with a trusted person so you can get to them quickly.

You could a friend or a trustee neighbour know that if they hear or see anything suspicious they should contact the police.

If you have children, talk to them about when it is appropriate for them to call for help without putting themselves in danger. You could show them how to call 999 from their phone. You could teach them and friends a code word that you say that tells them to call for help.

Plan where to go once you have left your home.

Pack essentials like:

  • Money, clothes, house and car keys.
  • Any important documents (photocopies if you cannot get the originals) like passports, birth certificate(s), mortgage documents etc.
  • Do not forget things like work ID and your driving licence.
  • Credit and debit cards and bank details.
  • Medications and documents relating to any children.
  • Keep the stuff somewhere hidden or leave if with a friend or relative.

Record anything that happens, any physical violence, emotional, verbal, sexual or financial abuse. The concern is how to do this safely so your abuser can not find it. Maybe text the details to a close and trusted friend or family member deleting the sent text. Maybe set up an email account and do not reveal its details, email what has happened to it making sure to delete sent items in the account you use. There are also a number of phone apps that could be useful for this purpose.

Any of this information could be vital in the future as a defence, or support in a criminal proceedings.



Take a close friend or family member into your confidence. Be prepared initially for disbelief, abusers can be very good at appearing to be the perfect and attentive partner outside of the home. Persevere and be patient with the person you are confiding in, they will come round, they are on your side. You will be believed and supported.

Speak to your Doctor, they will be able to offer support and advice on your physical and mental wellbeing, and could refer you to community, voluntary and statutory support services.

There are a number of places you could call for help:

The Men’s Alliance NI Support Group (MANi), 24/7, online, free and secure, join and take the first step to being a Male survivor of Domestic Abuse. We have hundreds of members in the same boat, trained counsellors and support professionals as members ready to help.

Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline 24hrs on 08088021414. Run by Nexus they will be very helpful and understanding.

Men’s Action Network NI (Northwest & Fermanagh)- – 02871 377777

Lifeline – If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is available to call day or night for immediate counselling support – 0808 808 8000

Ex Military contact AAVS Belfast – 028 9074 7071

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Stay Safe

Above everything else stay safe and remember you are not alone. There are people out there who can help.
When you get out of the relationship consider changing email address and telephone numbers, and remember you may have mutual friends on Social Media. Whenever possible avoid contact.

If at any time you feel in immediate danger dial 999.