The first months after leaving an abusive relationship are extremely challenging. Victims often fear for their immediate safety and are attempting to cope with the emotional and physical trauma from their past.
Staying safe is just as important after leaving as during the relationship. The following tips are meant to help you increase your physical safety.
- Trust your instincts — you know yourself and your situation better than anyone, do what you think is best
- Keep your location a secret — tell only the people you trust where you are and explain how important it is that they don’t tell anyone else
- Be aware of your surroundings — being cognizant of what’s going on is extremely important
- Consider having your phone number be unlisted — ask the phone company to prevent blocked numbers from calling you
- Consider renting a post office box for all mail — do not have any packages or letters delivered to your home or where you are staying
- If possible, cancel old or shared bank accounts and credit cards — open new accounts with different banks
- Talk to your kids — explain the situation in as much detail as you feel comfortable with, create an emergency plan with them
- Change your routine — take different route to work, avoid your regular hang outs, change standing appointments
We will be examining other ways to take care of yourself after you leave in future posts. Please feel free to call The Hotline if you’d like to talk about your situation or to discuss other ways to stay safe. 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224