The State must assist the victim of domestic violence with a safe exit from the violent relationship in order to protect the victim’s human rights. It is very important to take all necessary precautions when a victim leaves a violent relationship because the aggression and violent behaviour of abusers tend to increase with a loss of control over the victim.

A phenomenon known as the separation assault is recognized in domestic violence cases, i.e., victims who are in the process of separating or have recently separated from their partner are at much higher risk for future abuse. Therefore, safety aspects are very crucial in the process of leaving an abusive relationship.

The safe exit from an abusive relationship implies individual safety planning, which includes legal remedies and legal assistance, as well as psychological and social assistance. It can also include using specific devices and tools that aim to protect the victim and alert the police quicker. For example, the “serious danger telephone” is a special telephone that allows a victim of domestic violence to contact a specialised platform directly in the event of danger. The platform will alert the police and the victim can be geolocated if they wish. Read more about the “serious danger telephone”.

An individual safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after a victim has left. Safety planning also involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse and more.

Although some of the things that are included in the safety plan may seem obvious, it is important to remember that, in crisis situations, victims may not be able to understand the information in the same way as in regular situations. Having a safety plan laid out in advance can help victims to protect themselves in crisis situations.

About this section

This section of the Guide will explain the legal aspects of a victim’s safety and protection, as well as the available psychological, social and legal assistance during the process of separation from an abuser.


Last updated 26/10/2023