After you have left
- Keep a mobile phone with you at all times and pre-program any numbers you might need in an emergency; including the Police and DV Connect ( 1800 811 811 - 24 Hour Refuge Referral Line).
- Vary your travel routes to and from work.
- Tell neighbours that your partner does not live with you and ask them to call the police if he is seen near your house or if they hear an assault occurring.
- Tell your employer if you have a protection order and ask for your telephone calls at work to be screened.
- If your ex-partner breaches the protection order, telephone the Police and report the breach. If the Police do not help, contact your advocate or a legal service for assistance to access support with making a complaint.
- Contact the Australian Electoral Commission and ask for your name and address to be excluded from the published electoral role.
- Contact Centrelink or the Family Assistance Office to notify them of your change in circumstances.
- Attend a woman’s domestic violence support group or counselling to help you grow stronger and understand what has happened to you.
- Do you have a current Domestic Violence Order? Are the conditions relevant to you and your current situation? Do you need it amended or varied? If you have a Domestic Violence Order, then keep the paperwork or a screenshot with you at all times, stored in a secure place.
- Inform your children’s school and/or child care centre who has permission to collect your children if you have family court order or a Domestic Violence Order, then a copy may be left with the school.
- Arrange for your mail to be redirected to a post office box instead of your new address if you have moved.
- Consider reviewing your banking and postal arrangements.
- If possible try not to frequent places where you used to go. Use different shops and banks to those you used previously.
- Increase security on your house or unit
- Plan for extra safety between where you park your car and entering your home, e.g. an automatic garage door opener, safety lighting or removal of shrubs or trees in the area.
- Change the locks on your house and ensure the windows are secure. Have security chains fitted to all entry doors and make sure they are used at all times when the door is answered by you or your children.
- Arrange for your phone line to have calling number display/caller id and arrange for a private unlisted number.
Post Separation Power and Control Wheel
For many women leaving a relationship does not mean the end to the violence and abuse. The violence may escalate and can take on different forms. The Post Separation Power and Control Wheel can help you identify and recognise the tactics your former partner may be using.
Ongoing contact with extended family
Sometimes when you leave a relationship you also place at risk the relationship you had with family members of your former partner. Many people want to maintain contact and connection with the extended family.
If you are hoping to maintain contact, you always need to consider the safety of yourself and the children when making a decision. This decision is also something that you can review if the circumstances change.
You may also choose not to have contact yourself or only limited contact with the extended family but there may be Family Law Orders in place that direct children to maintain contact with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It can sometimes be challenging, especially if you are concerned about the dynamics and activities of the family. It is important that you seek advice to ensure that your actions do not breach the Family Law Court Order.