We rarely understand or believe we’re in an abusive relationship when we are. We may be aware we’re unhappy, or have a ‘gut feeling’ but we ignore it. We accept the excuses and go on believing tomorrow this will stop/it wont happen again. It wont stop until we stop it, we can do this by safely ending the relationship i.e. Safety Planning, engaging with support services, rebuild our lives and regain our FREEDOM.
We need to stop ignoring it, respond to it and say NO MORE!
If these warning signs are ringing bells for you, here are some tips for planning to end or leave an abusive relationship. The safety of you and the children (if there are any), is paramount and safety is increased by clear planning and communication to the right people and agencies.
Things to consider are;
Paper: – birth certificates, marriage certificates, benefit claim documents, employers documents, housing documents ie rent book/mortgage papers, medical card, NI card, car documents, driving license, passport, cash. (Although credit and debit cards are handy they can leave a trail).
Practical: – favourite toys/soothers, house and car keys, mobile phone, medications, debit or credit cards, tell one person you can trust where you will be and when you are going/contactable, don’t make this person the most obvious, perhaps your GP or the school or local Police? School or work uniforms, nightwear and a couple of outfits if you can. Keep important contact numbers written down somewhere safe (address book, use code if need be). Have a spare mobile number to be contacted by.
Protection: – Court Orders, Solicitors, evidence of abuse; where possible photos or recordings or people who have been witness and are happy to give statements. Talk to the Police, they will flag your property to alert officers of possible dangers at your location. Change your daily routines or routes. If possible go to your GP to log assaults, keep a journal of assaults. If your abuser contacts you via text, call or email, do not respond – just keep for evidence. Be careful that using your bank wont give away your location/movements.
If you feel your life is imminently in danger the most important thing to do is to get you and your children out of the home. Dont wait to pack a bag!
NB a woman is murdered every 3 days in the UK
*This list is not exhaustive*