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LEAVING ABUSE - Not Easy, Just Prepare and DO IT

Leaving abuse is hard; but it's harder to stay. The situation generally only gets worse. Plan on leaving abuse while you still can.

Victims often make up excuses for the abusers' violent behavior, often blaming themselves. It's not your fault. No one deserves to be mistreated.

Most violence in the home follows a pattern: the abuser grows more tense and irritable until some event triggers the violence. Abusers are often sorry and apologetic afterwards; however, chances are the violent behavior will continue and probably get worse.

Nothing excuses violence: not a bad day, rudeness, a need for control or the way someone was raised.

Children are directly and indirectly affected by the violence between you and your partner. Although there is no conclusive evidence that children raised in an abusive home are likely to become abusers or victims of abuse, you and your children need not remain in an abusive situation.
Skip down to Hotline Numbers and Resources for Leaving Abuse

You are not alone even though the abuser may have kept
you away from friends and family
People and laws exist that will help you take action prevent "the next time" from happening. You are not powerless or locked into a battering relationship forever. You can prepare to leave at the right time.

It often takes time mentally and emotionally to end a violent relationship. While you are thinking about "getting out," here's what you need to do if you have time to prepare before leaving:


Gather together originals or copies of as many of these important family documents and records as you can

Birth certifications for yourself and your children;
Deed or lease to your home
Checkbook(s), extra checks and bank statements;
Car registration, title, extra keys
Social security cards
Marriage license
Tax returns - W2's
Insurance policies and premiums
Paycheck stubs, yours and spouse's
Picture I.D.
Joint charge cards
Children's immunization records
Documentation of household possessions

Many of these documents will be necessary in order for you to obtain housing, public assistance, or free or inexpensive legal services. However, if you are in immediate danger and find a chance to leave, do so. Law enforcement can later accompany you back to your home for personal items.

  • Make extra copies of protection orders and keep them in safe places. Show the order to police officers to improve their response.
  • Set aside what extra cash you can in a safe place.
  • Hide an extra set of car and home keys outside the house or at a neighbor's.
  • Know where you can go and how you will get there in case you have to leave suddenly.
  • Plan and practice an escape route out of the home and safety plan for the children
  • Keep a bag packed and hidden in a safe place at home, locked in a car trunk, or with a safe relative or friend, in case of flight. It should include money, clothing, diapers, court documentation, passports, identification, school and medical records, necessary medicines, credit cards, work permits or green cards.
  • Make the home as safe as possible by changing the locks and adding deadbolts. Remove sharp objects and weapons from sight.
  • Use the block code *67 when making telephone calls.
  • How much (if any) spousal support will be given, and for how long?
  • Develop signals for neighbors and friends to call the police, such as banging on the floor or wall.

Domestic Violence Resources

If you're a victim of abuse or violence at the hands of someone you know or love, or you are recovering from an assault by a stranger, you are not alone.


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