Leaving an abusive relationship can be scary. Once you have decided to get out, you need to create a plan to protect yourself and your family. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the most dangerous time for someone in an abusive relationship is when they’re leaving. Therefore, it’s essential to protect yourself.
If you are still in a dangerous situation, it’s essential that you document any incident that involves abuse. Make a note of the date and time that the incident occurred. Write down the details of each incident. Save medical records, police reports, and pictures related to the abuse. You may need to refer to these documents if you press charges or go to court.
It’s important to get to safety as soon as possible. However, you may need to do some planning before you can escape. Some measures that can protect you when leaving an abusive relationship include:
• Saving money in a separate account to facilitate the process
• Keeping your car fueled with gas and stashing a spare key in an accessible spot
• Memorizing the phone numbers of supportive individuals and local resources that can help you
• Arranging to stay with an acquaintance or at a local shelter; your partner may know where to look for you if you stay with close friends and family
• Storing copies of important documents, such as your social security card, birth certificate, and tax information, with a trusted friend or family member so that you can access them when you leave
Create a Code Word
Set up a code word that you can use if you call a support person for immediate help. If you fear that your phone is being monitored or your partner is in the vicinity, you can use this word. Rehearse the conversation with your support person ahead of time so that neither of you is caught off guard if you need to use the code word.
Do Online Research Elsewhere
When possible, research available resources and escape strategies on someone else’s computer or mobile device. Many libraries let you use their computers for free. Many abusive spouses monitor their partners’ internet usage, which could tip them off to your plans and make the situation more dangerous.
Consider a Protective Order
When you leave, consider obtaining a protective order against your abuser. Hiring a lawyer at this time can ensure that you take appropriate action to protect yourself and your children. A family attorney can help you set up safe visitations for children or manage other restrictions, such as restraining orders.
The attorneys at Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C. are experienced with domestic violence cases and can help you take the necessary steps to move forward with your life safely. Call us today at (626) 653-4075 to schedule a confidential consultation.