Thinking of Leaving?
Everyone has the right to a healthy and safe relationship. It’s important to remember that it is up to you to decide whether you are ready to leave.
Leaving an abusive relationship
There are many reasons to stay in an abusive relationship and many reasons to leave. It’s important to know that you have a choice. Putting distance between yourself and an abusive partner can often be the best way to diffuse a situation, but leaving may present risks and is often the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship.
If you do decide to leave, it can be helpful to identify family members or friends who can support you through this transition. If you are worried about reaching out to family members or friends for support, you can always call our 24-Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940. Our trained advocates and volunteers can offer support and help you safety plan to make sure the separation from your abuser is as safe as possible.
Leaving an abusive home
If you’re thinking about leaving your home, unless it is an emergency situation, it is very important to be prepared. Here are some ways you can increase your safety before you plan to leave:
- Share your plan to leave with a safe person, whether that be a family member, friend, pastor, rabbi, doctor, coworker, mentor or advocate. Letting someone else know what’s going on can help keep you safe.
- Pack a bag in advance and keep it in a safe place that can’t be located by your abuser (trunk of a car or a friend’s home). If you have children, make sure you pack for them, too.
- Hide a disposable phone in your car, purse or another discreet location so that you have other means of communication.
- If your cell phone has a GPS tracker, make sure to turn it off before leaving. If you’re unsure whether your phone has a GPS tracker, you can check with your wireless carrier.
- Make sure that you have all of your personal documents, including:
- Birth certificates for yourself and your children;
- Social security cards;
- Medical and immunization records;
- Driver’s license;
- Financial information, including copies of bank statements and credit card statements; and
- Prescription medication for you and your children – make sure that you have it available or can easily get it filled.
If you have children with your abuser and are worried about sharing custody, you may be able to file for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO). For more information, visit our Legal Support page, call our 24-Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940 or send us a message on our Get Help page.