If your partner is abusing you, it can be quite challenging to leave. However, the relief you feel when you are no longer being hurt, manipulated, or controlled is worth it. Follow these steps to get out of an abusive relationship.
Decide to Leave
Just deciding to leave an abuser is one of the hardest parts of leaving. It is important to realize that abusive people will never change. Even if they promise, they will not stop hurting you. You also need to realize that you do not deserve the abuse. Regardless of what your partner says, you deserve to feel safe, avoid pain, be happy, and live a fulfilling life.
Have an Emergency Plan
In an ideal situation, you could plan the perfect way to leave an abusive relationship. However, the reality is that this is not always an option. If you are being hurt right now, you need to call your local emergency services. Know the number and address for a few local shelters if you have to get away in a hurry.
Make a Plan to Leave
If you are not in immediate danger, you may want to take a little longer to plan your escape. This can help you prepare how to safely leave the relationship. To avoid being found out during this stage, use safe electronics. Consider going to the library to search for things on their computer, or get a second phone. Work to find a new place to stay and look into local laws about child custody if necessary.
Pack the Essentials
Gather your belongings without making it obvious you are packing. Essentials include documents like birth certificates and social security cards. You may also want heirlooms, electronics, valuable jewelry, and changes of clothing. Remember no belongings are worth your life. If you cannot safely take them with you, leave them.
Know Your Legal Rights
If you have children or pets, it is helpful to know what the law has to say. This can keep your abuser from trying to control you through kids or pets. It may be helpful to seek advice from a lawyer in these situations.
Skip a Confrontation
The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when leave. Avoid giving the abusive partner the chance to change your mind or hurt you more. If possible, plan to leave when they are out of town or at work. Leave a note or send them a single message saying you are gone, then block them.
Hide Your New Location
It is important to keep your new location secret. Unlist your phone number and only use a P.O box. Cancel all shared credit cards and accounts. Try to avoid following typical routines. Check your car, belongings, and phone for any tracking devices or apps. You may want to consider a restraining order.
These steps help you get the courage to leave and stay safe afterward. Once you are finally safe, you can start taking steps to heal and start a new life.