I speak with a lot of people who are suffering through domestic violence in their marriage.
Most of them are women, but a large portion are men.
What they all have in common is this: they want the violence to stop.
That usually means they leave their abuser and then get divorced. If they don’t, the abuse escalates.
At some point during my conversations with spouses being abused and looking to divorce, we talk about a plan to leave the home.
Why a plan? Why not just leave?
Because leaving the home is one of the most dangerous times in a domestic abuse situation, Abusers are statistically very likely to escalate their violence when a spouse tries to leave the home.
A plan allows people to be safe when they leave the home, and being safe is the #1 priority.
Here are a few safety tips I share with my clients:
- Don’t tell your spouse you’re leaving.
You don’t want to let your abuser know when you’re leaving. It gives him or her too much of an opportunity to abuse you one last time.
- Leave when your spouse is not home,
Taking some time off work and moving out when your spouse is at work is a very good idea.
- Have at least one other person with you when you leave.
Having one or more people around when you leave is always a good idea. Abusers are less likely to do anything when a third-party is present, especially if that third party is ready and willing to take pictures/video.
- Take everything you need when you leave.
You don’t want to forget something and have to go back to the home after you’ve left. Going back increases the probability of you being abused.
Write a list of everything you need, and then tick off those items as you’re packing up. That way you remember everything.
- If necessary, ask a police officer to be present.
If you think it’s necessary, call your local police department and tell them you’re being abused and you need to move out of your house. The police department will likely assign an officer to be present when you move out to keep the peace.
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