You’ve finally plucked up the courage. You are going to escape your abusive partner once and for all, get a divorce and create a new life for yourself and the kids. Take the time to consider how you are going to do this. Here are some steps to think about:

  • Seek safety: You cannot think straight when you are living in an abusive relationship: If you could, you would not be there. Abusers use their power over you to manipulate you and stop you from thinking clearly.
  • Prevent further harm: If you fear your partner will come after you, consider asking a court for a Temporary Restraining Order.
  • Consider if divorce can wait: Divorces can be costly. If you are not in a financial position to do so, maybe just being away from the person is enough, and you can sort the legal side later.
  • Have your things prepared: Having you suitcase sit on the bed when your partner comes home, may not be a good idea. It may spark them to further abuse or to try and stop you from leaving. However, do secretly gather relevant documentation or other essentials, so that you know where they are when you need to go.
  • Open a separate bank account: Separate your finances to prevent your spouse from trying to control you by limiting access to money.
  • Consult an attorney: There could be potential legal complications if you abandon the family home, or take your children. It is best to check these things out first.

Safety overrides all other considerations: If you feel you are in immediate danger from your abuser call 911.