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Leaving an Abusive Relationship: How to Protect Yourself and Your Children

Leaving an Abusive Relationship: How to Protect Yourself and Your Children

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, your first priority is getting you and your children to safety. This means you need to find a place to stay where the abuser can’t find you, such as a hotel, the home of a non-mutual friend, or a battered women’s shelter (though the majority of domestic violence victims are women, men can be victims too. The following advice applies regardless of gender). It’s important when escaping from an abusive spouse that you don’t go somewhere where they are likely to look for you, like your parent’s or best friend’s house. There are several steps you can take so that you and your children find safety and get help. If you have time to plan your escape, you should put cash aside if you can. You might also want to pack some clothes and other important items in case you have to leave on short notice. Remember to leave the clothes and money in a place where your spouse won’t find it, like at a friend’s house. It’s also a good idea to document incidents of physical and emotional abuse with you or your kids, including the date and time, and specific details of the incident. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) advises that you make a list of people who are safe to contact and memorize their numbers, and any other numbers that you could contact for help. They also advise that you keep change on you for a pay phone, as well as cash in case you need to leave quickly. It is also suggested by the NCADV...