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How to Get Away from an Abusive Spouse

Updated on May 14, 2012

© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.


Are you being abused?

This article is for anyone who is in an abusive relationship. I am aware that there are some men who are abused by women, but statistics show that more women are abused by men in comparison. Because of that, I will be writing this hub from a woman's perspective.

Relationships and/or marriage are not meant to be entered into lightly. It is important to take time to get to know your significant other before going into a serious, long-term commitment with them.

A mutual joining of two people should involve love, mutual respect, admiration, honesty, communication, and a solid friendship. Without these virtues, a relationship will likely fail.

Warning signs of abuse

Many women do not believe they are in an abusive relationship because they have not been "hit by their man". Well, I have news for you, abuse comes in many forms besides physical. Mental and sexual abuse are even worse scenarios as opposed to being hit by someone.

Are any of the following things happening to you in your relationship?

  • Is your partner controlling you? Does your partner boss you around, tell you what clothes to wear, tell you who you can talk to, follow you to your job, or give you a difficult time when you use the phone? Control issues are a red flag for possible abuse from your partner.
  • Does your partner snoop in your phone? Is he checking your text messages and call log to see who you are talking to? Does he let you look at his phone and keep that line of communication open? They say people who make the most noise about something are usually guilty of something themselves.
  • He only pushed you or grabbed your arm? Does it take being hit in the head with a hammer before someone can see abuse for what it is? Just because he did not hit you does not mean he is not abusing you.
  • Does he allow you to see friends and go places without him? Most abusive men do not trust their partners and will not allow them to go places without them. I knew one woman who could not even shop for groceries without her husband going with her.
  • Does he touch you or make you have sex when you don't want to? No means no, whether you are married or not. One notorious thing about men who are abusive is their demands to have their needs met while be unconcerned about their partners needs. Most women in abusive relationships do not have a voice and are afraid to say no or disagree with their partner. Learn your legal rights and get the facts on sexual abuse.
  • Nothing you do makes your partner happy. Abusive men can be extremely narcissistic, and everything is about them. The mental games that coincide with abuse can keep a woman jumping through hoops to make their partner happy. Yet, their partner is STILL not happy. Learn how to outsmart a narcissist and save your sanity.
  • Does he call you names and ridicule you? Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse, if not worse. Bruises heal, but you can never take away the damage caused by words.

Do you think you might be in an abusive relationship?

See results

National Statistics

One in four have experienced domestic violence of some type.

Women account for 85% of the victims of domestic violence, while men account for the other 15%.

Women, ages 20-24, are at greater risk for domestic violence.

74% of Americans know someone who has been abused by their partner.

(Statistics retrieved from the Domestic Violence Resource Center.)

How to escape

For some of those reading this story, you might be more aware of your situation now. If you are in an abusive relationship, you have two choices: suffer more abuse and risk fatal damage or leave your abuser.

My advice to you is to leave while you have a chance. I know for some of you, this can seem like an impossible task. But the situation is only impossible if you want it to be. There are many domestic violence shelters you can go and stay. SAFEPLACE is a domestic violence shelter that will take in women and their children and provide a safe place for them to stay. There are Safeplace locations in various parts of the country.

If you have chosen to leave, it is not going to be an easy thing to do. You are not going to be able to walk into the door, pack your things, and just leave. He is going to become extremely angry and volatile, and the situation could become dangerous or fatal.

The best thing to do is plan how you are going to leave. You are going to need support. Tell your best friends and your family your plans, so you have a crew on standby to help you move out. You will need to get your things out quickly and will need as many people as you can get to help. This will eliminate your partner becoming physical with you, as you will have a pissed off brother waiting to jump on him when he tries to touch you or stand in your way.

Pack ahead of time; have suitcases or duffle bags packed with clothes, in case you need to get away in a hurry. If you have time, start packing up your important things, items he might not notice are missing. Work on it a little at a time and gradually move those items out of the house and have a trusted friend take care of them for you. Or, rent a storage unit if you are able to do so.

If you must, call 911. The police will take him to jail, which will give you time to pack everything and leave while he is sitting in lockup. File a Personal Protection Order (PPO) with your local county clerk's office. Any violation of the PPO could result in him being locked up longer if he does not leave you alone after you have left.

Moving on...

Find a support group and talk with others about your situation. The more you face it, the easier it will become to deal with it.

The most important thing to remember is not to go back, unless some deep counseling can be implemented into the relationship. Your abuser needs to have true, honest remorse and prove that he wants to do the right thing. This rarely happens, ladies. Is your life and the lives of your children worth risking their safety just to find out if he is serious this time?

I don't think so...


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    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Unhappy me, I am so sorry to hear about your predicament. There are solutions to the problem, but they will not work until you are in a position to do all you can to get out. If you want out, there are safe places to go. Can you tell me what state you live in? Then I can get you the proper information for your area. Also, to keep this private and not out in the open for all to read, please go to my profile and message me there with your email address, and we can keep this confidential. Or, you can email me directly at

    • profile image

      unhappy me 5 years ago

      i am living in hell

      my husband is emotionally verbally and mentally abusive

      he is controling and manipalutive he sues the silent tretament to punsih me

      he likes his own way

      he yells swears acreams at me

      ime to blame for everything

      he puts me down and is sarcastic he critisises everything

      i feel so trapped

      i have no money job or friends nowhere to go


    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Thanks Cathleena. I was sitting on those videos for quite awhile. But, life changes has brought them to good use, to help others. (Not to mention, I needed to learn how to edit videos for Take care!

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 5 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Leaving someone you committed yourself to loving is difficult, even when you know it's the best thing you can do to protect yourself. It takes a long time for the wounds inflicted by a partner who wasn't trustworthy to heal up. Very honest and insightful hub article. Thanks for sharing your experience with others.

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Thank you Breathing. I needed to raise my standards in men. I assumed because he was not like that 20 years ago, he would not be like that now. Thanks for checking out my hub!

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      I agree. It's sad the amount of people in position of authority who are abusive, not just women and men, not just to women and men, but to children, too. I was sorry to see that 67% of the people in this article are in an abusive relationship.

    • breathing profile image

      Sajib 5 years ago from Bangladesh

      It is a great hub. Life partner should be a good person first. I think no one expect that kind of husband that you have mentioned in your article.

    • jenniferrpovey profile image

      jenniferrpovey 5 years ago

      Yeah. It's just that many people...including on occasion law enforcement...genuinely believe that ONLY men can be abusers and ONLY women can be victims.

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Hi, LanaLu and Jennifer, thanks for the support! I added the new video, just to show people what abuse is like and how stupid it is. I will be going back and switching videos. The new video will have the actual arrest. Jennifer, I agree. Violence and abuse does not have a gender preference. I also have an adopted son who is gay, and honestly, Being called a lady would touch him on a more personal level than being called a man anyway.

    • jenniferrpovey profile image

      jenniferrpovey 5 years ago

      Don't forget that heterosexual women are not the only victims of abuse (there is a nod to it in the article). Abuse occurs in homosexual relationships, both gay and lesbian and I've personally known of two men abused by their female intimate partners. Both women and gay men *tend* more towards emotional abuse than physical, but it does happen. There are fewer resources for male victims of domestic violence. When I was in college, I was unable to find *any*...

    • LanaLu profile image

      LanaLu 5 years ago from New York

      Absolutely amazing hub... Many find it difficult to move forward and rebuild their lives because of the fear of leaving but ones they leave they realize that it was one of the best decisions made. The fact that you can share your experiences and freely state that you were a domestic violence victim is a great step towards a successful and happy life. I absolutely agree that people must be educated on not only sexual abuse but domestic violence abuse because the two can become one of the same problems in many situations.

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 6 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Thanks, fpherj48, domestic violence is one of the worst things to go through with a man. After leaving my husband, I made a decision for myself that I would never put myself or my children through that again. Actually, I took self-defense classes, trained to be an advocate, and decided to become more involved in the community. I recently dated a man who was physical with me. Well, we both ended up in jail, me still dressed nice from New Years, and he with 2 black eyes, broken nose, loosened tooth, and ruptured disc in his back (was already ruptured prior to the fight).

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 6 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Thanks LadyLyell, I used to be the woman in this story. Is is not enough to educate people about sexual abuse, but to educate women on a plan of actions. Thanks for following me. :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      JenJen0703....I remember the case in this video. This family lived not terribly far from my hometown. The first time I watched this, I remember becoming so enraged and horified, I was physically ill. It all came back, watching it again. That disgusting, low-life bastard deserved every second of the 36-year sentence handed down by this wise and compassionate judge. How egregious must something be to literally bring tears to a Judges's eyes? A man who sees the worst of the worse every day, from the bench. This cowardly psychotic man seriously abused his entire damaging the minds of the children. I sincerely hope they have all been involved in extensive and on-going therapy with professionals trained in PTSD. LadyLyell says it well. Words do fail us in response to such unbelievable and horrendous torture inflicted upon any individual by another. Excellent hub, JenJen. I applaud you as well as all women who find the strength and courage to escape HELL......and move forward to rebuild their lives. Wishing you Goodness and Peace.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 6 years ago from George, South Africa

      JenJen, you have written an article that will help many women.

      Men who treat women as above should be locked up and the key thrown away.

      Congratulations to yourself and all women who take their stand against these 'animals'.

      Actually, words fail me!

    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 6 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      I divorced my abusive husband ten years ago, and he ended up going to jail for assault with a deadly weapon. I refuse to marry again and am truly amazed by how many men I have seen that are physically abusive to their partners. The best thing we can do is report it, even if our neighbors hate us for it.

    • profile image

      tommie jean 6 years ago

      i have left my abusive husband after five years. I have movwed back home with family. _e was all the above and more. He made me look likw the elephant woman and even after that my crazy ass took him back. Jalk about what what damage that did to meand my children. _e is currently in jail for beating up another girl for talking about me. Secretly i hope he never gets out. But let me tell you leaving once is very hard but leaving again after that is near impossible...