There is a lot of uncertainty that you face when dealing with an emotionally abusive relationship. You can feel anxious about leaving because you’re uncertain about money, job prospects, or the health of your children if you have them.
People will always say that you should get out of these relationships, but we all know that leaving isn’t always that easy. Here are some practical steps that you can follow to create the safety that you require today.
1. Create an escape plan.
You should be ready to leave a moment’s notice. Keep your car fueled up and in a location that is easy to access. The door should be unlocked. Then practice your escape plan with your kids (if needed) so that you can get away from an attach from your abuser.
2. Memorize your emergency contact numbers.
Ask people that you trust if you would be able to contact them in an emergency situation. Memorize the places and numbers where you can get a place to stay, grab a ride, or get to law enforcement. You will want to commit local shelters to memory as well.
3. Use a code word.
Create a phrase or signal that indicates to your children, neighbors, friends, or others that you are in danger. Make sure that they know this indicates the need to escape or that the police must be notified.
4. Collect resources that you will need.
If you can afford the expense, a second cell phone is useful to ensure your communication and movement are private. Even a small prepaid cell that the abuser doesn’t know about can be a tremendous asset
5. Change all of your passwords and usernames immediately.
If your abuser knows how to gain access to your accounts, then create new login information that will prevent them from using your resources. Even if you’re not sure if they know the passwords, changing them is helpful since keylogging and spyware could provide this data.
6. Obtain your legal protections.
Once you get out of the relationship, consider getting a restraining or protective order against the individual. It will give you another option for safety if the individual violates it because the crime is usually more serious.
You don’t need to stay. Create a plan, and then get out when you can.