Prevent men’s violence against women

Post-separation violence

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What is post-separation violence?

Post-separation violence is a form of abuse that is used by a perpetrator to keep their partner from leaving the relationship, or to continue to control their ex-partner once the relationship has ended.

The time of separation is especially dangerous for many women: perpetrators experience a loss of control and may try to regain it by escalating their violence[1].

Signs of post-separation violence

A woman planning on leaving a relationship, or who has left a relationship, may experience the following from her partner or ex-partner:

    • Stalking, in person and online
    • Threats of violence and murder
    • Escalation of violence
    • Threatening to harm or kill a woman’s child
    • Abuse of children or pets
    • Sexual assault
    • An escalation in any form of violence her partner/ex-partner has previously used.

Planning to leave an abusive relationship

If you are planning on leaving an abusive relationship, it is important to consider your safety. A safety plan can help you identify any risks and develop safety strategies.

The best way to make a safety plan is with a support service that can help you with your specific situation, wants and needs. Find help now in your local area.

Safety planning can also help women plan how to be safer when living with violence.

If you are in need of a safety plan, we recommend that you reach out to 1800 RESPECT, the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service. They are free, 24/7, and completely confidential, and provide both phone and online counselling support.


[1] Meyer, S. (2015). ‘Hitting Home: why separation is often the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence’ The Conversation. Available:

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