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Planning Before Leaving an Abusive Home

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Planning Before Leaving an Abusive HomeIt is easy for observers to say that victims of domestic violence can protect themselves by simply leaving. The victims, who are statistically most likely to be women, may say that the matter is more complicated. A domestic violence victim can understand that she needs to leave her abuser but worry about the consequences of leaving, such as:

  • Ending her relationship with someone she still loves;
  • Retaliation from her abuser when she leaves;
  • Finding a place to live; and
  • Economically supporting herself and her children.

Many of these doubts can be addressed by planning ahead before leaving. If you are a victim or at risk of domestic abuse, you need a plan in place that will allow you to leave quickly and feel safe.

Where to Go

Before leaving, you should know where you will be staying. Your first idea may be to live with a family member or close friend. However, you must also consider whether your abuser is likely to pursue and threaten you. If so, you may want to go somewhere that your abuser does not know about or that will be able to protect you. You should look for a domestic violence shelter, which can confidentially house you or advise you on where to stay.

Packing Necessary Items

After you have left your abuser, you may not want to return to your home to retrieve items you may have forgotten. You can prepare a bag with items that you will need once you are on your own. The bag should be compact enough that you can hide it from your significant other and grab it at a moment’s notice. Items to consider packing include:

  • Clothing for you and your children;
  • Money;
  • Financial and personal documents;
  • A list of contact information;
  • Spare car keys; and
  • Small items with sentimental value.

Keeping Evidence

If your significant other has already started to abuse you, you need to preserve evidence of the abuse in order to prove domestic violence charges against him. Evidence can include:

  • Pictures of your injuries or damage to personal property;
  • Torn or bloodied clothing;
  • Records of medical treatments and police reports related to the abuse; and
  • Communications that show your significant other threatening or verbally abusing you.

Domestic Violence Lawyer

You need to talk to a domestic violence attorney before leave your abuser. A Kane County family law attorney at Goostree Law Group can give you important guidance on: 

  • Obtaining an order of protection against your abuser; and
  • Taking your children without violating your abuser’s parental rights.

To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.


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