How to escape a violent relationship when you’ve got children

Life-saving advice from @NCDV_Official 👇

1/19/2022 4:10:00 PM

Life-saving advice from NCDV_Official 👇

Sharon Bryan from the National Centre for Domestic Violence advises victims of domestic abuse how to escape, as safely as possible.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) saw a huge increase in victims in need of help after the coronavirus lockdowns were eased.NCDV specialises in protective orders for survivors of domestic abuse and can help victims secure an order through the family and civil courts for free.

Sharon Bryan, The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV)Make a plan'Separation is the most dangerous time for victims, the perpetrator feels that they’re losing control and they therefore feel they have to ramp it [the abuse] up.Have an emergency bag packed

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Joanna Lovell Senior Social & Newsletter Writer Sharon Bryan from the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) advises victims of domestic abuse how to escape, as safely as possible The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) saw a huge increase in victims in need of help after the coronavirus lockdowns were eased. 'A lot of people weren't in a position to do anything while any sort of lockdown was in place,' explains Sharon Bryan, from NCDV. 'What we saw was a massive increase when those lockdowns lifted. That might be because the perpetrators go back to work and the victims are more able to make a phone call.' NCDV specialises in protective orders for survivors of domestic abuse and can help victims secure an order through the family and civil courts for free. Sharon, 55, who has 23 years' frontline experience of working with the victims of domestic abuse – and is herself a domestic abuse survivor – stresses it's important for victims to have a plan, if at all possible, ahead of leaving home. Here she shares some practical ways victims can make their escape as safe as possible... On average, two women a week are killed in the UK from domestic abuse from a partner or former partner. In the first three weeks of the first lockdown, 16 women were killed. Sharon Bryan, The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) *For consistency, Sharon talks about 'women' throughout the article as an example of a domestic abuse victim, but it's important to stress, victims can be both men and women, as can perpetrators.* 1. Make a plan 'Ideally, leaving should be something which is planned, but it doesn't always work out like that,' said Sharon. 'If you do it [leave] and you’re unprepared, a lot of women tend to go back because it’s just too difficult. 'Separation is the most dangerous time for victims, the perpetrator feels that they’re losing control and they therefore feel they have to ramp it [the abuse] up. 'This is why domestic violence abuse victims must plan ahead.' 2. Have an emergency bag packed As part of the overall escape plan, Sharon says: 'You should have an emergency bag and this bag should be somewhere where he can't find it. Even if it means leaving it with a friend or a social worker.' She recommends including the following: A change of clothes for you and the children Important documents including passports, birth certificates, school records Spare car keys A mobile phone – with emergency numbers stored in it  3. Prepare your children 'I advise women to talk to the children, to prepare them, unless by doing so you will put yourself at further risk,' suggests Sharon. 'You can give the children a code word and say to them"If you hear me say a certain word, this is a code word and if I use this word it means we need to go, now. It means get your clothes on and get ready". 'Explain to them it might be something that Mummy has to do to keep them safe. 'There is a risk the children might tell him. Only you will know if it’s safe to talk to them.' 4. 'If at all possible women need to leave with their children,' explains Sharon. 'This might not be possible, if you're in immediate danger, but you should always try. 'If he has parental responsibility and you leave without them, it might be very difficult to get the children back.' 5. Plan an escape route 'You need to think about how you would get out of the house if you found yourself in a tricky situation,' advises Sharon. 'You also need to think about how you would get out the house without him knowing. 'Have you only got one front door? Do you live in a high rise? How else could you leave? 'Some women who live in flats would say their balcony is connected to next-door's, so they maybe could climb over, but that's difficult with children. 'Would it be better to do it when he’s at work? If you’ve got a planned escape route in your head its much easier when it comes to the time.' We help people from all walks of life, from migrant women to celebrities, both men and women. Domestic abuse doesn't discriminate Sharon Bryan, NCDV