Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship can be dangerous. Things to think about if you plan to leave or have already left include: 

  • Always leave enough space between you and the car in front of you to quickly change lanes. 
  • Avoid isolated places such as alleyways, restrooms, etc.
  • Change your routine and the routes you travel to work and school. Do not go places that you and the abuser went to together, or places where he is known to spend time. 
  • Check the interior of your car through the windows before you get in. 
  • Do not meet or contact the abuser alone under any circumstances. Have another person pick up and deliver children for visitation. If you must meet the abuser, choose a safe, public location and take another person with you. 
  • Drive with your doors locked at all times. 
  • Get an injunction for protection and keep it with you at all times. Keep records of letters, notes or answering machine messages and promptly report violations to law enforcement. 
  • Get a post office box or make arrangements for mail/bills to be sent to a friend’s address. Have the phone, rent utilities, etc., placed in someone else’s name. 
  • Have someone walk you to and from your transportation.
  • If you work, have a trusted co-worker screen your calls or call police if there is a problem.  
  • Notify children’s school, day care or babysitter of the situation and give them copies of any court orders related to custody. Have them report any unusual contact from the abuser.