Staying safe at home during lockdown

These are some things to consider if you are worried about your safety at home, especially if you are self-isolating with someone who makes you feel unsafe. Not all of them might fit you, or your situation, and that’s ok. It is just useful to have a think about what your plans might be at times where you feel confused or vulnerable as a result of your partner’s actions.

Check-in

Set up regular check ins with someone you trust - just a quick check-in around the same time every day can help you feel safer and less isolated. These check-ins can be a phone call, messaging or video call depending on what feels most comfortable for you and is most suitable for the situation in your home.

Who is looking?

Be aware that your partner may be surveilling any written communications you are having and consider code words you can use, or whether you can delete conversations after you have them.

Use a code word

Think about how you might raise an alarm with your trusted person should you start to feel unsafe, and come to an agreement with that person about what you would do. Can you agree on a code word with them that you can text? There are also apps that allow you to subtly send someone an alert if you feel unsafe.

Keep your phone close

Ensure that you always have your phone nearby, and that it is charged.

Keep a record

Some people find it useful to keep a record of incidents with their partner to allow them to reflect on the situation, or in case they might like to go to the police at some point. There are apps available that can allow you do this secretly on your phone, without saving it directly to your phone so it is a safe place to store.

Safe place

Think about the safer areas in your home that you might go to should your partner’s behavior start to feel threatening. For instance the kitchen is an unsafe area as there are knives, and the bathroom can be unsafe as it would be easy to become trapped in there - a safer area will have a way out, and have minimal items which can be used as weapons.

Call for help

If you are feeling unsafe the best thing to do might be to call 999 and get support from the police to keep you safe. You can do this silently if you are worried about your partner knowing - call 999 and listen to the prompts from the operator, then cough or tap the handset. The operator will then prompt you to press 55 and put you through to the police.

Know your escape routes

Think about what the escape routes out of your home would be, and how you would use them in an emergency - do you know where the keys are for your doors if they remain locked during the day for instance? Is there a ground floor window you could safely leave the property through?

Consider useful items

Keep useful items somewhere accessible for you - this could include always having some cash in your pocket, or shoes/slippers somewhere near an identified safe route to leave the home.

Where can you go?

If you were to leave the home in an emergency have a think about where you could go. During the day this might be the local pharmacy for instance. Can you safely travel to the local police station?

Staying safe at home during lockdown

Keeping children safe

Safe place for kids

Where is a safe place for the children in your home to go if your partner is becoming volatile? As above you may want to avoid having the kitchen or bathroom as their safe place as these can be less safe areas of the home.

Special phrase

Agree a key word or a phrase with your child which means that they need to leave the room/go to their safe place.

Meeting place

In the likelihood that you and your children might want to leave the home quickly it might be worth picking somewhere outside the home for older children to go to, where you can meet them. Somewhere like a designated lamppost, a neighbor's front garden or a corner shop.

Teach them 999

Teach your child how to call 999 and the information they need to say – name, address, phone number. Teach them that it is never their responsibility to protect you if you are being attacked, but that they can call other adults to help you and your partner be safe.

Check-in for kids

Have a think if there is a trusted person your child can speak to on a regular basis to help them feel safer and less alone.