If someone is in a marriage or relationship that is abusive, it’s important for create a plan before leaving. Putting together an escape plan can help the abused person get out of the relationship safely while protecting their own best interests too.
An escape plan should be considered long before leaving, because knowing where to go to be safe and having financial support will help the person leave and from returning to the same situation. Abusers do tend to take steps to prevent their victims from leaving, but you can counteract those plans and leave an abusive situation.
What to do when planning to leave an abusive partner
To start with, let someone know about the situation, such as a trusted family member or friend, to help you in the search for help. Next:
- Put together a “go” bag, which may include personal items, clothing, documents and emergency money, if possible. This bag should be kept somewhere the abusive partner or spouse can’t find it.
- Keep pictures or journal entries of what has been happening. This can be crucial information if a protective order or other legal help is needed
- Locate the local police station, fire department and domestic violence shelter and save their phone numbers to a cellphone under nicknames. Not only can these be the first place of safety to go to, but the people at these facilities are specially trained to help people in this situation.
- If possible, notify these authorities of the plan and when you intend to leave. That way, they’ll be able to come to help you leave the property or prevent the other party from returning to the household.
Domestic violence is a serious matter. Trained help is available, so no one should have to go through the process of leaving an abuser by themselves.