Living in an abusive relationship or situation is tough. Abuse doesn’t just start one day. Most abuse situations are gradual until the abuser has full control. Often leaving the abuse victim feeling hurt, alone and helpless. Leaving an abusive relationship is not easy. People who have never experienced abuse or had it a direct part of their lives, sometimes don’t understand it’s not about just walking out the door.
Many times people don’t leave abusive situations due to children being involved, lack of employment or ways to support themselves, fear of what the abuser will do or other fears such as being alone.
Every 12 seconds someone in the United States is a victim of Domestic Abuse. That is 5 people every single minute. About 300 people an hour are a victim of Domestic Abuse.
If you or someone you know are in an abusive situation and ready to leave make a safe plan. A safe plan should include people who are safe to talk to and keep updated of your situation. It’s good to memorize their numbers or make a list. A safe plan should include some personal belongings which can be taken quickly, such as an over night bag with some clothing. A safe plan includes important papers such as medical information, social security cards. Put pictures or other evidence of abuse with the important papers. When packing to leave remember all prescriptions. A safe plan should include a short term safe place to go. This could mean staying with a family member, friend or a hotel. Think through the way to leave, if the abuser will be present when leaving.
After leaving an abusive situation, vary your routine and places you typically go. Notify your work and children’s school immediately of what is happening. Most places will be understanding and have procedures in place for such occasions. After leaving, if possible borrow or drive a different vehicle the abuser won’t know until things calm down a little. Screening phone calls until the cell phone number can be changed is good. Remember if the phone is in the abusers name, the abuser can use GPS to locate the phone.
If leaving the abuse location is not possible, having police help to remove the abuser is a wise choice. When requesting help from the police have pictures and other things ready to show the police. Keep copies of everything, as the police may take things into evidence. If you have the abuser removed, change the door locks. Keep windows locked shut. Again it’s a good idea to notify your employer and schools.
No matter if you’ve left an abusive situation or had the abuser removed, it’s a good idea to have a plan to get away from the abuser, if you’re our in public or confronted by the abuser. This could be a plan you have to live with for a lifetime or until the abuser moves on to their next victim.
Remember you and everyone have the right to live a happy and healthy life. Abuse won’t stop on it’s own. The abuser needs help, don’t be afraid to press charges and get an Order Of Protection. While that won’t guarantee you’re protected, it will establish a pattern in the courts.
If you have been abused, it’s a good idea to meet with a professional counselor. Family and friends will try to listen and understand. If they’ve never been through abuse they may have little advice or have little to offer when talking about the abuse or ideas or how to move on. Family and friends mean will and will be there, it’s a good idea to seek professional help for a while. This way you can move on to a happy and healthy life.