West Mercia Women’s Aid
Safety Planning – Staying Safe During Social Distancing
Safety Planning Support
A safety plan can help to protect you and your children. It helps you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to consider how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave.
Practical steps for keeping safe during social distancing
Immediate risk – call 999 for the Police
Immediate risk to life comes before social isolation.
- The Police are responding to domestic abuse calls 24/7. Your call will be a priority.
- Ask your local Policing team to drive by where you live on a random but regular basis – to clearly show they are looking out for you.
Contact West Mercia Women’s Aid
If you are experiencing or recovering from domestic
- Refuges are open if you need to flee for your safety
- Advice and support is available for all who need it – by telephone or social media
- Women’s Aid, the Police and other agencies are working together so that victims of domestic abuse are safe and supported
‘Make Yourself Heard’ – What to do if you urgently need help from the Police, but can’t speak.
If you’re in an emergency situation and need Police help:
- Dial 999
- Cough or make another noise to let operator know you are there and your call is genuine. They can then alert the Police on your behalf.
- If transferred to the Police and you still can’t talk, press 55 and they will continue to listen
Follow this link and memorise the process – it may make all the difference when you need urgent help.
Smart use of your smart phone
Set up speed dials on your phone
- For Police
- For a trusted friend who knows to call the Police if they get a ‘dead call’ from you
- Agree a safe word or emoji with friends and family, which they know means to ring 999 for you
Safety for your children
Safety plan with your children if they are old enough to understand:
- Tell them to go to their room if violence starts to escalate
- Make sure they know to go to a neighbour for help, or dial 999 and ask for the Police and say they need help and give their address
Use your support networks
- Ask people to check in on you in a casual but regular way, that doesn’t raise the suspicions of others
- Everyone is contacting people more often at the moment to check that they are well – take advantage of this fact so that this all seems normal
- Find ways to safely stay in touch with friends, family and work colleagues. This will help your mental health especially in times of particular stress and anxiety
Download a personal safety app
Personal safety apps have silent safeguarding options, such as alerting designated contacts if you are in danger. Find out more at hestia.org
Safe at home
If you are in a situation where you may be assaulted or where the risk of violence is getting worse:
- Keep yourself close to exits if at all possible
- Know which rooms in the house have locks – to buy you the time to call others for help
- Choose a room in where you can barricade yourself and plan – where you can you pull a set of drawers in front of the door while you call for help, for example?
- Try to avoid the kitchen and bathroom where there is easy access to sharp objects and chemicals.
How to help a neighbour or friend
- Call 999 and ask for the Police, if you feel someone you know may be in immediate danger
- Call West Mercia Women’s Aid Helpline for advice on how to help if you have a worry (0800 783 1359)
At the advised social distance, make a point of asking how they are coping with being isolated in the house. If you can’t talk without being overheard, then say you would be happy to help them with ‘any difficulties’ they may be having – they will know what you mean.
West Mercia Women’s Aid Helpline is available all day, every day, as always
Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin:
Call 0800 783 1359
Call 0800 980 3331
We also have Livechat available from 9am until 9pm, Monday to Friday for those who want to contact our helpline silently or who prefer to text rather than talk.
If you are in immediate danger please call 999
Read through our other safety plans and our online safety guide or call the helpline to ensure you have all the relevant information.