How Can I Leave an Abusive Relationship?

Leaving an abusive relationship can be one of the hardest things a person does in her life. Along with emotional issues, you might also have fears about the safety of yourself or your children. That's why having a plan in place is so important. WomensHealth.gov offers the following tips on how you can extract yourself in a safe and secure manner when involved in an abusive or violent relationship. 

You may not be ready to leave right away. That's perfectly OK, but you should take the proper steps for when the time comes. For example, let your friends and family know about your plans. Try to secure a safe place you can go to when it comes time to leave. Many abuse victims are isolated from their loved ones, so reaching out to others is often the first step toward making your break from your abuser. 

In the same token, you can prepare for the time by packing up some essential belongings so you can leave quickly. Along with clothing and personal effects, make sure you have important documents like birth certificates and identification. You should also try to pack some money to help with transportation or other costs. Keep in mind that if you're being directly threatened and must leave quickly, you may need to leave your bag behind. 

It also helps to have an alternate method of communication. Your mobile device might be traced by your abusive spouse or you might not have a phone of your own. If this is the case, pick up an inexpensive mobile phone that you can store in a hidden location. When communicating with others about your plan, use this phone to prevent yourself from being discovered. 

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