Domestic Violence-Planning Your Exit Strategy?
Annually, October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Concerned citizen groups around the country have functions to help raise awareness about this huge problem in the U.S. and around the globe. In this article we will discuss some preliminary steps you should take towards planning your exit strategy if you are in a relationship where abuse of any kind, be it physical, mental, financial or psychological exists.
If counseling and other tactics have been unsuccessful, men or women who are in a domestic abuse relationship should plan how to escape the relationship. This applies equally well for those in the LBGT community. Domestic violence applies to them in roughly the same percentages as in the straight community.
First know there are a variety of helplines available like the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-SAFE(7233). Every major geographical locale has local resources for help.
Learn where local shelters for abused or battered women are located in your area.
- Personal security with an abuser. Identify the abusive partner’s force level and trigger issues that may cause abuse or violence. Know where safe areas of the house are located with escape routes and without weapons. Have an extra set of car keys hidden away and always keep the car fueled up with driver’s door unlocked-the others locked. Inform close friends and family of your situation. Practice what you will do when the time comes to leave-and more than likely it will come. Include your children in that practice.
- Plan your exit strategy by having extra money set aside, an extra set of clothes packed and important phone numbers handy. Financial information such as credit cards and bank account numbers are an essential part of the plan.
- If you’re in a domestic abuse situation and feel threatened by physical abuse, you should get a PPO-personal protection order. A PPO can protect you against domestic abuse and stalking.
- Have some self-defense weapons with you at all times. We recommend Keychain Pepper Sprays or a powerful Stun Device that is also on a keychain. Self-defense weapons will protect you from assault and can disable an assailant long enough for you get away to seek help.
Close to forty million women are involved in a relationship where domestic violence and physical abuse occurs. No one can help you develop an exit strategy besides yourself. It isn’t easy, but know there are resources available to help make it easier. Everyone has a right to live a life without fear.