The period after leaving an abusive relationship can be especially dangerous. To reduce this risk you could:

  • report to police and apply for an ADVO (see Reporting to Police & ADVOs);
  • if you have an ADVO carry a copy of it with you at all times and give a copy of it and a photo of your partner to your workplace and your children’s school so that they are aware of the situation;
  • redirect your mail and get a post office box;
  • be careful who you give your new address or phone number to;  
  • get a new SIM card and phone and have your call preferences set to “Private” so your new number can’t be saved;
  • think about getting a spare SIM or phone if you want to communicate with your ex-partner about children or pets;  
  • for a house phone, ask for a ‘silent’ number  and make sure that government agencies, doctors, services, schools etc keep your details private;
  • wherever possible, change your regular patterns of movement, e.g. travel to and from work by a different route, buy your groceries at a different shop, change the time and maybe location of regular appointments, maybe move your children to a new day care centre or school;
  • ensure where you are staying is as safe as possible, e.g. security doors, lockable windows, motion- sensitive external lights etc; 
  • let key people know about your situation, e.g. your boss and other work colleagues, your children’s teachers, so they know not to give out your details or they can screen your calls etc;
  • continue to seek support from the domestic and family violence services and medical practitioners during this time; or
  • block your partner on Facebook and any other forms of social media that you use. Think about setting up a new profile that is secure. Facebook now has a number of good features and tips for users on safety. Search for “Safety on Facebook”, or download the “Safety and Privacy Guide for Survivors”. 

One of the biggest head-fucks was being told that violence was part of his ‘culture’ and the fact that I had a problem with it meant I was racist.”
David, 27