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Doc@DrIrene.com

Tips: Leaving Your Abuser

Tips: Leaving Your Abuser

by Dr. Irene

"Fear is the prison of the heart." - Anonymous

Victims planning to leave their abuser typically have few resources, are frightened, intimidated and feel guilty. Here are some general tips for those planning to leave. 
bulletRead Gavin De Becker's The Gift of Fear
bulletGet support. Whenever possible, enlist the help and support of family and friends.
bulletPlan ahead: Do whatever you have to do to build up a nest egg. You deserve no less. 
bulletHave a place to live lined up.
bulletGuilt tying your hands? Drop the guilt for once and for all - and forever! Guilt is irrational, keeps you manipulated, serves no good purpose, and is self-destructive. It is your job to take care of yourself! Dumping guilt is your first lesson!
bulletStop being an open book. You don't owe your abuser explanations! (Do you get explanations?) You are an adult; start acting like one.
bulletIf you fear for your safety, call the authorities to help. It is illegal to block your exit! They can escort you out and put you in touch with shelters, if necessary. 
bulletContact your attorney or State authorities to find out your rights, responsibilities, and options. Knowledge is power!
bulletWarning your abuser that the moving truck will come by 9 am Saturday morning is not usually a good idea. If you are serious about getting out, you are better off avoiding a confrontation by leaving without notice and when the abuser is out of the house. 
bulletYou possessions are less important than you are. 
bulletLeave no forwarding address. Get an unlisted phone no. Change your email address.
bulletAdvise your employer of the situation and have your abuser turned away & phone calls blocked.
bulletTelephone harassment is illegal as well. Ask police and/or telephone personnel what your options are.
bulletGet an order of protection if you need one. If you've ever been hit, you need one. If you've been threatened, you need one. If your property has been damaged, you need one. Call your local police station if you're not sure. 
bulletLook in your local Yellow Pages. Look for domestic violence groups usually listed in the Government sections.
bulletGet caller ID.
bulletIf your abuser calls, don't answer - or hang up. If the phone rings again, hang up again. And again. 
bulletDo not talk to your abuser if you don't want to or if you feel you will weaken.  Give yourself time to see things more clearly before you communicate.
bulletGet emotional help. Join a support group; call a therapist.
bulletOpen your mouth. Don't protect your abuser's ugly secret. Tell the world what was done to you and why you left. 
bulletDocument, document, document.
bulletKeep any incriminating letters, messages on your phone machine, and save emails, etc.
bulletNever, ever, ever hide physical abuse. If you have bruises, call the police to document your wounds. Likewise with your family doctor.
bulletRemember that your abuser thrives on intimidation. Most abusers will fold once you stand up to them. 
bulletRemember that your abuser uses your empathy and guilt against you to manipulate you. Get mad, not guilty!
bulletGet your backing in place before you make your stand (authorities, finances, emotional stuff etc.).
bulletNever forget: without treatment, abuse will get worse, not better...
bulletViolence Against Women Link          

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