You've been through the storms and have determined that you will no longer be a victim. What do you do now? Get an escape strategy in place. Here are eight steps you can take to safely get out of the abusive relationship.
- Keep your local shelter’s phone number and a means to call them with you at all times. We also recommend putting all important numbers on speed dial (for mobile users).
- Tell someone you trust, what's going on and what your plans are to get away. This needs to be someone who will not compromise your safety.
- Don't wait until you're leaving to get the important things like money, important documents, or even a change of clothing together. Pack your escape bag as early as possible and place it with a trusted family member, church staff member, co-worker or friend to hold.
- Protecting your children starts with educating them to know what to do if they fear for your's and their safety. Teaching them how and when to call 911 is essential.
- Get an Emergency Protection Order. Make copies & disperse them to trusted friends, family, schools/child care facilities and your place of employment. Make sure to keep one with you at all times.
- When you know your departing time, relay this information to the schools and child care providers. Make sure there is a clear understanding of who can have access to your children on your behalf. And let your children know as well & to quickly report to an adult when they see the abuser.
- If you can't afford to take a leave of absence, ask your employer for an escort (or set up a routine with a co-worker) to walk with you to your car or bus at the end of the workday.
- And finally - As you go about each new day, be aware of your surroundings and change up your routines, your usual driving patterns. Plan for the inevitable. Know what you can safely do if you see your abuser.