Tips for Leaving an Abuser
The process of leaving an abusive relationship is difficult and dangerous. Safety is the primary concern. Even if you do not think your partner poses a risk, leaving often triggers an increase in violence. It is best to prepare as much as you can ahead of time.
Ask a friend or family member to keep items you gather to take with you. Make sure the person you choose will not tell your abuser about your plans to leave. Do not take anything that will be noticed as missing.
Recommended List of Things to Stash Away If Possible:
- Contact information for a local domestic violence shelter
- Other important contact information
- Prescribed medications
- Legal documents for you and your children (e.g. birth certificates, social security cards)
- Photographs or written evidence of the abuse
- Financial records and account numbers
- Personal items
Recommended List of Things to Arrange if Possible:
- A plan that safely removes yourself and you children from the home
- Transportation for yourself, children, and belongings
- A safe place to stay if not entering an emergency shelter.
- How to manage being gone from home for an extended time
- Referral to a lawyer or legal advocate to obtain a personal protection order, temporary child custody order, etc.
- A safe place to store personal belongings possessing sentimental value.