You may ask yourself, why wouldn’t a person just leave an unhealthy relationship?
What would make them stay?
Wouldn’t he or she want to feel safe?
Statistics say that …
- It takes a victim an average of 7 times to leave an abusive relationship before separation is final
- Leaving an abusive partner may be the most dangerous time in the relationship, as women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time of dating
Why people don’t leave an abusive relationship
It’s hard to identify how the abuse starts when it gets worse and it messes with your mind. Men and women don’t leave because they are…
- Guilty to have partaken in the relationship or let it go on for as long as it did.
Key tools for leaving an abusive relationship
One of the key tools that I used was, I called the Domestic Violence Hotline.
Due to my emotional state at the time, the conversation is a bit of a blur. I don’t even remember if I spoke to a man or a woman.
The counselor instructed me to do what I felt most safe doing: filing a police report, doing nothing at all, seeing a doctor to make sure that I was physically ok after my attack, AND the most valuable piece of advice that the counselor gave me was he or she provided me with public resources in my area to seek help.
The counselor said that Safe Horizons was close to where I lived.
The counselor encouraged me to make an appointment to speak with a lawyer and a case manager.
Wow, I had no idea such services existed! Mainly because I’ve never been in such a situation before.
I didn’t tell any of my friends or family that I was going. I was ashamed, embarrassed and scared.
Safe Horizons helped me leave an abusive relationship
Safe Horizons is the largest victim services nonprofit organization in the United States.
Meeting with the case manager at Safe Horizons was the most valuable part in helping me to decide to file a police report.
As I told the case manager my story, her eyes widened with disbelief. She looked frightened and angry.
That moment was the moment that I gained clarity.
I realized how dangerous my attacker was, how bad it was what he did to me and that I needed to get him out of my life as soon as possible.
From that time, I began to take steps to ensure that my attacker would be punished for the crime that he committed and that justice would be served.
Steps to leaving an abusive relationship
Here are some steps to take if you’re contemplating leaving an unhealthy relationship:
- Call a domestic violence hotline
- Seek professional help
- Have a safety plan – a clear plan of action of how and when you’ll leave
- Inform friends and family members that you’re leaving
- Ensure that they don’t correspond with your partner
- Relocate to a place where your abuser can’t find you
- Notify either staff members who work in your building or neighbors near your home
- Change your phone number and address
- Open new credit cards and bank accounts
The last piece of advice that a detective gave to me was to change my routine…
He told me not to don’t hang out at places I typically did, take a different route to work and make sure that no one reveals my whereabouts over the phone or through social media.
REMEMBER: No one deserves to feel unsafe in a relationship.
Seek help before it’s too late!