When survivors are ready to leave an abusive partner, it can feel both empowering and frightening. Abusers may have threatened them in the past that, if they leave, they will be harmed or their children or family members will be harmed. A vital step to take before leaving an abuser is to think of a safety plan. Advises WomensLaw.org, “Not all of these suggestions will work for everyone, and some could even place you in greater danger. You have to do what you think is best to keep yourself and your children safe.”
Items to Take When Leaving Abusive Relationship
- Spare car keys and your driver’s license
- Credit cards, money and checkbook
- Phone numbers for friends, relatives, doctors, schools, taxi services and your local domestic violence organization
- A change of clothing
- Any medication you typically take
- Important documents, or copies of them for both you and your children (birth certificates, social security cards, school records and immunizations, pay stubs, bank account information, marriage license, will)
- Any evidence you’ve been collecting to show you’ve been abused (photos of injuries, police records, medical records, a journal or log)
- A few personal items you want to keep (photo albums, jewelry, etc.)
- Additional items to consider can be found here.
Part II of this article will talk about the steps to consider next in your safety plan.