Survivors of domestic violence leave and return to their abusers on the average of seven times before finally leaving for good. Often, this is because they are not well prepared. Here is what you can do if you are thinking of leaving.
1. Pack in your suitcase – keep the suitcase in a safe place such as with a family member, friend or neighbor.
- A change of clothing for you and your children
- Prescription medications.
- An extra set of keys to your car and your home.
- Your child’s favorite toys.
2. Gather important documents to be kept in an easy to locate and safe place.
- Documents such as:
For Identification: driver’s license, social security cards and birth certificates (yours and your children’s) and passports.
Legal papers: protective order, marriage license, divorce/custody papers, medical insurance cards, house deed or rental lease and tax return from the previous year.
Financial: Cash, checkbook, credit cards and bank information.
- Other items:
Address book, valuable jewelry, current pictures of you, your children and your abuser.
3. Know where you will go ahead of time.
4. Don’t be afraid to call the police.
Physical abuse is a crime, even if you are living with the abuser. Legal involvement is often the only way that you can be sure that the abuser will get the help that they need.