Preparing to Leave
The moment of leaving an abusive relationship can happen quickly. But preparing to leave takes an immense amount of courage, planning, and precaution against the risk of violence.
Here are several measures you can take to prepare before you leave.
- Create a safety plan. It’s important to plan how to stay safe while still living with an abusive partner and how you can safely leave the home or relationship.
- Record evidence of any abuse you experienced. This could include pictures of injuries you received or threatening messages. If possible, keep a journal of violent incidents, noting dates, events, and any threats made. Store your journal in a safe place.
- Establish where you can go to get help. If you’re comfortable doing so, tell someone trusted about what’s happening. They can help you with safety planning or finding resources that support survivors.
- Plan with your children and identify a safe place where they can go during moments of crisis, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
- When preparing to go to a shelter, if you can, call ahead to see what the shelter’s policies are. They can give you information on how they can help and how to secure a space when it’s time to leave. Our advocates can also provide you with local resources.
- Try to set money aside or ask trusted friends or family members to hold money for you somewhere an abusive partner can’t reach it. Financial abuse is very common and creates many issues for someone preparing to leave.
- If relevant and feasible, pursue job skills or educational qualifications that expand your opportunities for independence.
- Talk with an advocate at The Hotline. Our advocates are highly trained in all aspects of domestic violence. They can help you create a safety plan, give information on preparing to leave, and can connect you to local domestic violence resources for further support.