Recovery For Abused Women

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Domestic Violence Series for July 19, 2012 "How to Leave an Abusive Relationship" (Part 2A)

Domestic Violence Series (Part 2)

 Explanation of Domestic Violence and Abuse Continued:

VIII. How to Leave an Abusive Relationship – (Part 2A)

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.
  • Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made if possible.
  • 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:

  • Make a plan for how and where you will escape.
  • Hide an extra set of car keys.
  • If you need to sneak away, be prepared.
  • You may request a police stand-by or escort while you leave
  • 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, 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 checkbooks, 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.
  • 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.


Click here for PDF version...

Next section posted will be “Domestic Violence Series (Part 2) – “Explanation of Domestic Violence and Abuse” – “How to Leave an Abusive Relationship – After Leaving the Abusive Relationship “(Part 2B) on Tuesday, July 24th.



Dr. Dorothy E. Hooks



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