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ESCAPING A VIOLENT PARTNER: GETTING TO SAFETY

ESCAPING A VIOLENT PARTNER: GETTING TO SAFETY

While we all strive for safety and security, especially when it comes to the welfare and wellbeing of our families, there are unfortunately some circumstances where escaping a dangerous, or potentially dangerous, partner becomes a necessity. You can learn more about How To Spot The Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Partner elsewhere on the site, and if you feel that you and your children are in danger then this article will help provide guidance on how to get to safety.

It’s a challenging and daunting situation to be in, and you will need to draw upon all of your inner strength and courage, but by taking decisive, pre-emptive action you may well avert a tragedy from unfolding. As with everything, proper planning ahead of your escape is essential for the best outcome.

Here are 14 things to try and bear in mind.

1. Prioritise Safety Planning
Before taking any steps, it’s crucial to have a safety plan in place. Identify a safe place where you and your children can go, such as a friend’s house, a shelter, or a relative’s home. Keep a list of important contacts — including friends, family, and local shelters — and have a bag packed with essentials like clothes, important documents, and medications.

2. Trust Your Instincts
If you feel that you and your children are in immediate danger, trust your instincts. Waiting for the right time may not always be an option. If you sense a threat, don’t hesitate to seek help or make your escape.

3. Contact Local Support Services
Reach out to local domestic violence organisations or helplines. They can provide valuable assistance, resources, and guidance on the steps you need to take. They may also help you access emergency housing and legal advice.

4. Establish a Support System
Let trusted friends and family members know about your situation. Having a support system in place is vital during this challenging time. Share your plans with someone you trust, so they are aware of your situation and can assist you if needed.

5. Keep Important Documents Handy
Gather and keep important documents in a safe place. This includes identification documents, passports, birth certificates, financial records, and any legal documents related to custody or protection orders. Having these documents will be crucial when establishing a new life for you and your children.

6. Have a Financial Plan
Financial independence is a key aspect of escaping an abusive relationship. If possible, secure access to your own funds, open a separate bank account, and gather information about financial assistance programs that may be available to you.

luggage

7. Plan Your Escape Routes
Identify multiple escape routes from your home. This could include familiarising yourself with public transportation options, finding nearby shelters, or knowing the locations of friends or family members who can provide immediate refuge.

8. Use Technology Wisely
In today’s digital age, technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Make sure to use it wisely. Keep your communication discreet, use private browsing, and be cautious about sharing your plans through electronic devices that your partner may have access to.

9. Restraining Orders and Legal Support
Explore the option of obtaining a restraining order against your partner. Consult with a solicitor or contact legal aid services to understand the legal steps you can take to protect yourself and your children.

10. Seek Counselling
Emotional support is essential during this challenging time. Consider seeking counselling for yourself and your children. Many organizations offer free or low-cost counselling services to survivors of domestic violence.

11. Educate Yourself on Local Laws
Understanding the laws related to domestic violence and child custody in your location is crucial. Knowledge about your rights and the legal protections available to you can empower you to make informed decisions.

12. Secure Housing
If possible, explore housing options in advance. Contact local shelters or transitional housing programs that can provide a safe place for you and your children. Having a stable living arrangement is key to rebuilding your life.

13. Stay Connected to Your Support System
As you go through this challenging process, stay connected to your support system. Regularly update friends and family members about your whereabouts and wellbeing. Their ongoing support can be a source of strength during the healing process.

14. Stay Mindful of Your Mental Health
Escaping an abusive relationship is a courageous step, but it can be emotionally taxing. Prioritise your mental health by seeking therapy or support groups. Taking care of yourself is crucial for the wellbeing of both you and your children.

Remember, you are not alone, and there are people and organisations ready to assist you. Reach out, prioritise your safety, and take the necessary steps to build a new life free from danger. You and your children deserve a future filled with security, love, and happiness.



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