If you're married to your abusive partner and/or live in the same house as them, then you'll have to plan your exit strategy. Here is a possible guide to help you:
1. Plan, plan, plan.
Making the final move is very difficult, and this is one of the reasons many people never do it.
It very much depends on your individual situation. Plan which day is the best to leave – it could be when your partner is away on a business trip or is going to be out all evening with friends. Find a good time to make the exit. It might even be a good idea to practice or rehearse leaving before you actually do it.
If you have children, explain them what you’re planning and gain their confidence. This in itself is a long-term conversation you ought to have been having with your children. If you're planning to take them along, think about where you're going to stay. It's easy to to accommodate one guest, but more than one can be difficult for anyone.
Think about school schedules and how your kids will get back to normal life.
If you're not taking your kids along because you think it’s better for them and for you, you need to spend some time explaining this to them. You also need to plan how they will be taken care of.
As you can see, it’s very hard to do this all on your own. That’s exactly why many people stay in abusive relationships.
2. Call in someone you trust to help.
You need someone to back you up in case something fails. Tell them your plan. This could be your neighbour, a trusted colleague, or an old friend or relative you’re still in touch with.
3. Find a safe hiding place.
Don’t leave any clues for your partner to find. If you're working, you need to consider whether the place you work is a safe. Will your partner go there in search of you? You may need to take some time off or leave your job for the sake of your safety.
4. Save some money.
Look at the savings you have. How many days, weeks or months can you survive with it? If you don’t have any access to money, it’s time to ask for help. Perhaps you could borrow from a friend who understands your situation and won’t add pressure to your already tense life.
5. Take your time to recover.
Break the habit of being abused. Get back into a normal life and be around people who don’t have an abusive past. You can reach out to counselling centres and helplines to seek help too.
6. Begin to consider a divorce, if you are ready.
Seek legal assistance, find out what you need to file for a divorce, and see what your options are. There are many organizations and shelters offering services free of charge or at low cost to people who have been abused. Check out this guide for more information on building a case against your abusive partner.