Getting Ready to Leave
- Keep any evidence of physical abuse, such as pictures, etc.
- Know where you can go to get help; tell someone what is happening to you.
- If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.
- Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them (for example, a room with a lock or a friend's house where they can go for help). Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
- Contact your local battered women's shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.
- If possible, keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made.
- Acquire job skills as you can, such as learning to type or taking courses at a community college.
- Try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you.
General Guidelines for Leaving an Abusive Relationship
- You may request a police stand-by or escort while you leave;
- If you need to sneak away, be prepared;
- Make a plan for how and where you will escape;
- Plan for a quick escape;
- Put aside emergency money as you can;
- Hide an extra set of car keys;
- Pack an extra set of clothes for yourself and your children and store them at a trusted friend or neighbor's house. Try to avoid using next-door neighbors, close family members and mutual friends;
- Take with you important phone numbers of friends, relatives, doctors, schools, etc., as well as other important items for yourself and the children, including:
- Driver's license;
- Regularly needed medication;
- List of credit cards held by self or jointly, or the credit cards themselves if you have access to them;
- Pay stubs; and checkbooks, and information about bank accounts and other assets.
- If time is available, also take:
- Citizenship documents (such as your passport, green card, etc.);
- Titles, deeds, and other property information;
- Medical records;
- Children's school and immunization records;
- Insurance information;
- Copy of marriage license, birth certificates, will, and other legal documents;
- Verification of social security numbers;
- Welfare identification; and
- Valued pictures, jewelry, or personal possessions.
- Create a false trail. Call motels, real estate agencies, and schools in a town at least six hours away from where you plan to relocate. Ask questions that require a call back to your house in order to leave phone numbers on record.
Created by K.Siu, 2005.