Your safety is the most important thing!
Do not, under any circumstances, alert the abuser that you are going to leave, that you want a divorce, or that you are taking the kids. Even if your partner has never laid a hand on you before, announcing that you are leaving is often the trigger to push a controlling, abusive person over the edge. More important than the other person’s feelings, or what other people will say or think about you, is your own personal safety. You must come first.
Your heart may tell you that you’re being mean, cold, or insensitive; but your gut is telling you that you need to get out. Follow your gut and deal with your heart another time.
Preparing To Leave:
• Keep any evidence of physical abuse, such as pictures of injuries.
• Keep a journal of all violent incidences, noting dates, events and threats made, if possible. Keep your journal in a safe place.
• Know where you can go to get help. Tell someone what is happening to you.
• If you are injured, go to a doctor or an emergency room and report what happened to you. Ask that they document your visit.
• Plan with your children and identify a safe place for them, like a room with a lock or a friend’s house where they can go for help. Reassure them that their job is to stay safe, not to protect you.
• Contact your local shelter and find out about laws and other resources available to you before you have to use them during a crisis.
• Try to set money aside or ask friends or family members to hold money for you.