Walk Away Slowly: Steps to Take When Leaving an Abusive Situation

There are women cross the country in abusive relationships, both verbal and physical. Having a boyfriend or husband that is mentally/physically abusive and/or controlling to the point it creates fear must be handled with care. It’s bad enough that you are being verbally attacked, but once it goes physical you have to learn to back away slowly. Any man who feels comfort in hitting his girlfriend/wife would take it even further eventually. But backing out quickly could put you as a woman in harms way as well. There are immediate means such as police restraining orders or breaking it off face to face. The first action could force him to leave temporarily, but at the end of the day, it’s only a warning and a sheet of paper. The second option of face to face break-ups could place you in an even more dangerous position. Because now he’s in front of you, meaning in arms length. If he’ll strike you in a relationship, then he’ll most definitely do so during a breakup. So as a woman, what do you do when you are with such an aggressive person. There is a third option of bringing others into the situation, but you only put their lives in jeopardy. So there leaves the fourth option; taking steps walk away slowly.

When stepping away from an abusive relationship, you want to do so slowly. What I mean is a multistep process of removing yourself from the person. As psychologically damaging as the abuser, you have to work to be even more psychological and manipulative. For example, a first step would be playing into the man’s control. You cater to the full extent, without question. You ask why, well because this will create distraction with the person. Cook, clean, do whatever to cater to the utmost of your ability and his ability. To him it may appear he has gained full control, but to you this is the first step in removing yourself away from him. This distraction is the time you need to engage in your next step, a plan. Devise a plan for your exit. This plan can come in the form saving money, searching for a new better paying job, and even scouting cities to completely remove yourself. For example, saving money; some women are with men so controlling they don’t even have a voice over their own finances. Learn a skill, a craft, a side gig to getaway for even a short time period. It could be I’m going to the grocery to store to pick up a few things, yet you’re making moves the whole time. Now this can get dicey, especially if he’s keeping tabs on long you’ve been gone. This might be a time to reach out to a trusted person. Anytime you need to run an errand, have them run the errand while you conduct business. An example would be a woman is with a guy who tells her be back in a few hours from running errands for the house. Her side gig is a beautician; meaning she has one hour to make her money, meanwhile her trusted friend is performing the errands. When that time is up, her and the friend meet, swap food, household products, or any other tangibles and proceed on. The errands are complete as her man demands, and she is able to make her money.

Leading into step three, is the saving of your money; bank it. The great thing about banks, is that they are confidential means of hiding money when you are with such an abusive partner. Open a bank account where you will be stashing your money. Oh and a bit of advice, try not to bank at the same institution as the household money. Because even though banks are confidential, they are not absolutely without flaw. You run the risk of someone telling your boyfriend/husband at the bank, “Hey, saw your wife today, or your girlfriend just left not that long ago.” This is not guaranteed to happen, but could potentially happen. Once you have chosen a banking institution begin to routinely dump money into the account. Don’t think of it as hiding money to escape an abusive relationship, think of it as a short term investment in your mental stability and safety. Changing the wording in addition to your thought process before the circumstance of leaving can create a more sense of urgency. When you can’t make a gig, and he gives you money for a task, learn to skim of top by lying. This tends to be a little more dangerous, but if it’s something he has no prior knowledge of it’s possible. What I’m saying is he gives you money to run an errand, you know a place to get it cheaper. All he knows that he sent you to get something for $50, gave you $50, but you know a place that sells it for $30. If the products look similar, buy the cheaper one, pocket the $20 left and save this amount. Remember $20 is nothing, but it’s an investment.

Step four, location scouting is a key aspect of leaving. Research locations where you want to live once you leave. Depending on your situation, it could be the same city, or more severe circumstances may force you to leave to an entirely different region of the country. Scouting can take place anywhere at anytime. The greatness of today’s society that is different than women of the past is the availability of the internet. The internet has made it possible to scout via anywhere. Now, scouting is so vital also if the woman has a child, especially by the man. The good aspect of not having a child is you’re scouting for you, but when a child is involved you’re scouting for two. As a side bar, when in an abusive relationship keep tabs on everything he is saying and doing to you. This means time, dates, what he said, what he did; everything. This way in your escape it’s easier to get away even with your child. As types of legal ramifications can occur with a child, so show proof of why you’re leaving and why your child is safer with you. Also while scouting, research jobs where you will be living, if a kid is involved schools, cost of living, and proximity of help in case the abuser tracks you down. Going down your checklist, nothing should be left to chance.

Step five, is the coming together of finances for moving. This is the stage when you put down the deposit of your apartment, gather furniture, if a child is involved prepare them for their new school, have moving trucks on stand by. All the appropriate essentials need to be in order for your exit, especially leading up to the day of departure. Clothing should be purchased you are in need of a new wardrobe as well as any other household needs. If you’ve save enough for a car, don’t leave in your new car, go to the car and meet it. You don’t want to leave and run the risk of someone telling you significant other, “Hey, I saw your girlfriend/wife leave a _____ car.” “It was a new _____, the color ____ and she had your kid with her.” You travel to the vehicle, then leave, cover your tracks.

Step six, the departure; leave as smooth as your exit plan. When I say smooth, you leave smooth. It should be as simple as getting up for work in the morning. If he leaves first perfect, if not, then you leave, know when he’s gone and return. Have it all planned how you will take your child away if that applies. By the way, the best time to leave with a kid is during the summer months. They are not in school and it’s easier to matriculate into somewhere new starting the year than in the middle of the year. Make sure clothing is near for easy access, and that’s all you leave with. Forget furniture, let him keep it, for you will have your own in route of your new place. Outside of clothing maybe a family heirloom or some photos. As part of the departure, when you leave make sure wherever you go, be sure to contact the police department immediately. Why, well because you inform them you have left your abuser, this way they know ahead of time in case he is successful at tracking you. Another thing, for the women with children, maintain all documents of times and dates of abuse; even photos if useful. Because once again, leaving with a child can cause a host of legal problems. Be prepared to show documents you have accrued, as well as expressing fear of going to police. It’s a gamble, but women have won these cases.

Step seven, is cutting ties with people who could put you in jeopardy of being harmed. People can’t help themselves, and may inadvertently lead him to your whereabouts. Only people who wholeheartedly trust, and under some circumstances you may have to leave everything behind; even some friends and family. Be prepared to do so, be prepared to start over. Remember that it’s for happiness, your happiness, and your emotional stability. Think about your child if there is a kid involved. And finally, always, always proceed with caution depending on the severity of your relationship. Stay safe and proceed forward.

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