Ways to stay safe

There are steps you can take to help keep yourself (and your children) safe.

1. Tell someone you trust about the situation. Ask them to keep an eye on you. Decide on a safe word or phrase you can use (spoken or text) to let them know you are not ok. Agree what they would do if you use the safe word (such as call the police).

2. Plan what to do in an emergency. Decide which room at home feels safest and which friends or family members you can turn to. In an emergency, if you can’t leave the house, try to block yourself in the safest room and call 999.

3. Teach your children how and when to call 999. Make sure they also know how to give their name and address to the emergency services. Ask neighbours to call 999 if they hear a disturbance.

4. The Silent Solution system enables a 999 mobile caller who is too scared to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted – to inform police they are in a genuine emergency. It can, in extreme situations, potentially save a life.

It is not true that police will automatically attend if you make a silent 999 call. To ensure the call receives a response, callers need to listen and respond to questions and instructions, including by coughing or tapping the handset if possible, or if using a mobile phone, once prompted by the automated Silent Solution system, pressing 55.

The system filters out thousands of accidental or hoax silent 999 calls made daily. Around 50 emergency calls from mobiles a day are transferred by a BT operator to police forces in the UK as a result of someone having pressed 55 when prompted, enabling the police to carry out urgent enquiries to respond.

5. Be ready to leave in an emergency. Keep copies of important documents, some emergency money, any medication and a packed bag in a safe place, or with a trusted friend or family member.

6. Keep your phone close and fully charged. Put important numbers on speed dial.

7. Keep an itemised record of unwanted contact or abuse. Include the date and time of when it occurred and how it made you feel. (Only do this if you have a secure place to store it.)

8. If you're planning to leave, ask for help. Get support and advice from people you trust on how you can leave in the safest way possible.