Staying safe

There are things that you can do now to make it safer for you and your children:

  • Tell people you trust – friends, family or neighbours – about your concerns and ask for their help
  • Keep in close touch with other people, even if your partner is discouraging
  • Have a code word that you have agreed in advance that you can use to let friends know that you need help
  • Stay somewhere else at times when you think your partner is likely to be threatening (for example, when they've been drinking, or taking drugs)
  • Leave the house as soon as the situation gets uncomfortable. If you feel that having an excuse to leave will make leaving easier, think of one now, so you have it ready
  • Save and hide a small amount of money so you can always get a taxi if you need to get away
  • Ask your neighbours to call the police if they see or hear that something is wrong
  • Memorise emergency phone numbers and the number of friends who can help
  • Get copies of important documents (like passports and birth certificates) and leave them with a friend
  • Plan an escape route, for when your partner becomes violent.

If you leave the relationship

This can be the most risky time. If your partner is very jealous, very dependent on you, or very angry about you leaving:

  • Call a family violence help service to work out the steps to make leaving as safe as possible
  • Stay at a safe place where your partner won't find you
  • Find out about the legal protections you can get
  • If you still need to have some contact with your partner, control the situation as much as possible. You could meet in a public place, or have other people with you who you know will protect you.

If you are concerned for your safety, these organisations can help:

Women's Refuge

National Network of Stopping Violence Services


The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki


Child Matters

SAFE Network