Leaving an abusive partner

Leaving an abusive partner can be a difficult and dangerous process, and it is important to plan carefully to ensure your safety and wellbeing.

Planning involves taking steps to protect yourself and your children, such as finding a safe place to stay, securing your finances, and creating a support network. It is also important to consider legal options, including obtaining a restraining order or filing for divorce if applicable.

Planning can help to reduce the risk of harm and increase the chances of a successful transition to a safer and healthier life. It is important to seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals who can provide emotional support and practical assistance.

Although, leaving an abusive partner can be a challenging and overwhelming process, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are resources available to help you plan and navigate this difficult time. By taking the time to plan and seek support, you can take control of your life and create a brighter future for yourself and your family.

Leaving is brave

The question that is often asked of victims of domestic abuse is ‘why don’t you just leave’. There are many different reasons why women don’t and can’t leave an abusive partner – this article explains why.

Planning to leave

Prepare – Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice by having a bag packed and hidden (if it is safe to do so). Pack your bag with spare car keys, cash, clothing, and important phone numbers and documents. If it is not safe to hide your bag in your home, leave it with a neighbour or friend; somewhere you can easily access it when you leave. A key tip is to keep your car fuelled and park it in a position that it is easy to access the driver side.

Practice – Practice how you would leave to ensure it is quick, safe, and fully embedded in your mind. If you have children and they can keep your escape plan a secret from your abuser, tell them and practice with them.

Memorise important information – In the event that your plan doesn’t work how you intended, and you must leave suddenly without any belongings, it is a good idea to memorise important phone numbers and information that you will need.

Support system – Make a list of people you trust – friends, family, neighbours, or colleagues – those who you can rely on to help you if you need it. Let them know what you are planning and when to make sure they are on hand at the drop of a hat. Try to keep the circle of people who know about your plans small and ensure they are trustworthy.

Research local resources – Other than NIDAS’ support services, research other supportive resources that you might need, such as food and clothing banks.

Cover your tracks – If your partner is controlling or monitors your communications and internet activity, it is crucial that you avoid letting them find out about your plan to leave. Try to access online resources outside your home if possible and delete your internet browsing history on any device used within the home. This is where your support system can help by letting you use their facilities and helping you with research.

Helping you stay safe

Whilst you are making plans to leave or if you aren’t ready to leave yet, we have some tips on how you can stay safe. Tips include sharing plans with friends/relatives, learning how to use emergency SOS features on your phone, sending your location if you are out of the home, what to do if you think you are being followed and more. Read more here.

You are not alone

We are here to support you with any aspect of domestic abuse.

  • Call us on: 01623 683 250
  • Email us: [email protected]
  • For out-of-hours, call the Nottinghamshire Domestic Abuse Helpline on: 0808 800 0340
  • Outside Nottinghamshire, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on: 0808 2000 247