Keeping safe after leaving a domestic violence situation

Keeping safe after leaving a domestic violence situation

Tips for keeping safe

You may need to take steps to minimise the risk of any future harassment or violence from the perpetrator. To help keep safe, you can:

  • keep your Apprehended Violence Order with you, and give a copy to someone you trust for safekeeping
  • inform the police immediately if your Apprehended Violence Order is breached
  • seek legal advice and be aware of your rights
  • change your locks
  • cancel joint bank accounts and credit cards
  • organise for your mail to be redirected to a post office box
  • teach your children not to open the door without checking who is there first
  • inform your children’s school or day care about who is authorised to collect them and if there is an Apprehended Violence Order in place
  • get guidance from the police about safety, including the security of your home
  • change your routines
  • ask someone to accompany you to places when you have concerns
  • consider changing your bank account and phone numbers, as well as moving to a new address
  • seek support from a domestic violence worker or counsellor
  • keep a diary of any contact you have with the perpetrator (include the time, date and place)
  • contact Centrelink to make sure any joint correspondence to you and the perpetrator is changed
  • tell someone you trust at your workplace about your situation
  • keep all receipts for emergency expenses (for relocation, medical bills and accommodation, for example) as you may be able to make a financial claim through Victims Services NSW.

Here are some strategies to keep safe when using technology and social media:

  • trust your instincts – if you suspect the perpetrator is harassing, stalking or monitoring you using technology, it is possible and likely
  • use a safe computer, meaning a computer or device that the perpetrator does not have or has not had access to, such as at public libraries, community centres or internet cafes
  • clear your internet browsing history 
  • be careful when communicating online by making sure you log out of websites
  • create a new email, Facebook or instant messaging account
  • change passwords and PINs from a safe computer
  • get your own mobile phone
  • check your mobile phone settings – disable location services and lock the screen so it won’t automatically answer or call if bumped
  • minimise the use of baby monitors or cordless phones so you are at less risk of being overheard
  • get a private post office box and don’t give out your real address
  • Google yourself to see if your personal details appear online
  • screenshot evidence of harassment so you can report abuse or stalking.

For more details about safety, see technology safety resources from the Women’s Services Network.

Safe computers

Our community centres and libraries are open to all residents, workers and visitors. You can access computers free of charge from all of the City’s libraries. The following community centres also offer safe computers, and are a place of welcome and refuge:


The information on this webpage is provided as a general guide only and is not intended to constitute advice and must not be used as a substitute for professional advice. The City of Sydney makes no warranty, representation or guarantee of any type as to the content, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose or use of any information on this webpage. If you find any information that you believe may be inaccurate, please contact

Last updated: Tuesday, 9 July 2019