LEAVING AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
If you are thinking of leaving an abusive relationship, here are some things that you can do ahead of time to make your transition somewhat easier and hopefully safer.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, NEVER TELL AN ABUSER YOU ARE LEAVING!
Victims are at 75% greater risk of being killed leaving domestic violence than staying so it is important to plan carefully without arousing suspicion.
If you use your home telephone or computer to get information or make arrangements to leave the situation, do everything you can to erase your tracks.
- Make duplicates and hide in a place where you can get to them without your abuser knowing:
- Keys to vehicles and home
- Vehicle registrations
- Birth certificates (yours and children’s)
- Children’s school and immunization records
- Social Security numbers (yours, abuser’s and children’s)
- Passports (yours and children’s)
- Immigration paperwork (yours and children’s)
- Marriage License
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card statements
- Medical cards
- Mortgage or rental agreements
- Insurance policies
- List of addresses and telephone numbers of family, friends and other important contacts
- Some money (including change for telephone calls)
- Change of clothes for each family member
- A small supply of prescription medication
If you have medical records, police reports or threatening notes, e-mails etc., make sure that you keep these in a safe location away from your home.
Keep an extra copy of any stay away order (no contact, protective or restraining) in a safe location away from your home. If you are working with a shelter or domestic violence program, give your advocate a copy for your file.