Preparing to Leave
The moment of leaving an abusive relationship can happen quickly, but the process of leaving 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 actually leave.
- Record evidence of physical abuse, like pictures of injuries. 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.
- 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.
- If relevant and feasible, pursue job skills or educational qualifications that expand your opportunities for independence.