How to Escape from Domestic Violence

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If you’re caught in an abusive relationship, your top priority should be safety. You may not be able to control the abuse, but with some planning and determination, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family if it persists.

Even if you plan to continue the relationship, you should have a plan in place for dealing with the next possible attack. And if you intend to leave, you should do it in the safest way possible.

How Do I Prepare Myself and My Children to Leave?

If you plan to stay in the relationship, there are certain precautions you can take. Keep a phone in a room that locks from the inside and memorize all emergency numbers. Consider carrying a cellular phone.

If you’re attacked, avoid going into places like the kitchen and garage where there are plenty of potential weapons. Avoid rooms with small areas like closets or crawl spaces where you can be trapped. Stay away from rooms without windows.

Make up a code word to let friends, family, or a neighbor know that you’re in trouble and you need help. Keep your purse with important items in a place where you can grab it if you need to leave in a hurry.

If you do plan to leave, first decide when and where you will go. You may have to confide in your children that it may be necessary to abandon the abusive person at some point in the future. Be sure they are old enough to understand that this must be kept secret. Reassure them that you have plans for how to protect them but need their cooperation. Plan an escape route and teach it to your children. Make up a code word to signal to your children that it’s time to leave NOW.

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