Staying safe while you are away

It can be difficult staying safe and looking after yourself alongside what you are going through. This guide is here to help.

Do you have everything you need?

You may have had to leave in a hurry. Check if you have the things you normally need to stay well, like medication. If you don’t have it and can’t go home, a pharmacy or A+E department may be able to help.

Check for risks

If you are in an unfamiliar place, look out for risks and hazards around you. You might have gone somewhere new to get some space or not be found. Look out for things that could cause you harm. Try to avoid sheltering in places like building sites or derelict buildings. If you are outdoors, be careful if walking by water, and avoid terrain where you could fall. Do what you can to avoid getting lost, and try to know what is round you at all times.

If you need help and can’t describe where you are the, what3words app can help. It lists every location by 3 words. So, wherever you, there is a unique code that allows emergency services to locate you. Read more about what3words here.

Be aware of the weather

Keep an eye on the weather, and be aware of how it may change. You don’t want to be stranded outside in cold and/or wet weather, or be in very hot weather where you may get dehydrated or sunburnt.

Avoid people who may cause you harm

Unfortunately, some people will target others who seem more vulnerable. This could be for crime or to exploit them. Avoid being in unsafe places with people you don’t know or trust. If you are taking some time to work out what to do, try to stick to well lit places with plenty of other people, like shopping centres or cafes.

Know how to get help if you need it

Try to make sure your phone is always charged so that you can so you can call 999 if there is a problem. You can also call from a phone box or BT StreetHub. If you are feeling really unwell, go to A+E. If you feel unsafe, ask for help from staff in a safe public place, such as a station or shopping centre.

Check out online personal safety advice

Read personal safety guidance on The Suzy Lamplugh Trust website.

Understand how to avoid being a victim of crime on the Crimestoppers website.

Work out what feels safe

What makes you feel safe? Is it being somewhere you know, or somewhere where there are lots of people? Think about what you need to feel safe, and agree to yourself you won’t settle for anything less. This might help you feel more able to stay safe, even if you become more desperate.

Plan ahead if you can

Things may have happened very quickly, but try to think ahead to make sure you don’t end up in a bad situation. Work out where you will stay, before it gets dark, for example.

Don’t undervalue yourself

You may be going through lots of things, and experiencing lots of different feelings. It may seem that being in places that are unsafe is part of a choice you made to be away. Remember that whatever is going on, you have the right to be safe, and that your well-being is important. Be kind to yourself, and if things aren’t right, try to get help.

Address any dangers you were facing at home

An example of this could be that you’ve left home because someone there was abusing you. If you can, tell someone about this, so that you don’t have to go through it anymore. If you have been facing domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for help.