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How to leave your abuser

Updated on February 20, 2013

Where do you begin?

I've begun many of my hubs this same way because I suffered through an abusive marriage for 15 years. This was my life for nearly 50% of the time I've been on this earth. My goal is to help as many people as I can, to hopefully gain the courage to get out of the same situations. You deserve to be happy, you deserve to live your own life! I'm dedicated to this cause and I will fight for abused women/men for the rest of my natural life. I have the experience, I'm going to share it. I found the strength to leave after a decade and a half, you can do it too!

The first few steps you need to take in order to prepare yourself:

  • Let's remember that the main reason you're allowing yourself to be in an abusive relationship, is because you have no self-confidence. Whether you met your significant other in that state or they've brought you to it, you need to get rid of those thoughts immediately or you will never leave!
  • If you're reading this right now, I know that you have some way of reaching the outside world, so there is no excuse not to go after the support you so richly need and deserve.
  • Don't be afraid to go to your trustworthy family members or friends with the story of your abuse. If anyone were to blame you, you don't need that person in your life anyways so move on to the next. Tell a family member or friend, let them know exactly where you're at in the relationship and where you want to be. Cry on their shoulder, let it out. If they care, they'll do anything they can to help you.
  • Get into counseling if that's an option for you. Now!! They will help give you the tools to gain confidence in yourself so that you realize you do not deserve this treatment, and there is no reason to be scared of your abuser. Typically most of the talking your abuser does is just to intimidate you, they have no means or intention of harming you any worse than they already are, they just know that those words will keep you there through fear.
  • If you're being physically abused and you're truly afraid for your life, I'll address those issues later.....
  • Join a support group for abuse victims. Even my small town of 2500 people had such support groups, page through the yellow pages or look online, you'll find something.
  • Once you realize that you are a wonderful, deserving person in this life, you will start to gain confidence in yourself. This is key to leaving your abuser.
  • Whatever means of support you find, just remember that you must also work through feelings of guilt. Especially if there are children involved. Trust me, My ex and I got pregnant right away and had two children in two years so my children were unfortunately raised, for 14 years seeing all the abuse that went on in our house. But if you remain in those feelings of guilt and do not work through them, you will end up with your abuser again, or in another abusive relationship later. You MUST learn to forgive yourself so that you can move forward.

Once you realize that you have to leave and you've gatheed the strength (mentally) to do so, these are the next steps to take in order to get out of this relationship forever:

  • Create a safety plan: Stash money away, however you can. Even if you don't work and he is financially abusive, find change in the couch, take the dollars from the dryer, whatever you can find and put it in a safe place.
  • Create a journal. But be very careful with this, my ex found my journal a couple of times and threw it away so I lost all of the proof I had documented. Although this isn't the most important piece, I didn't have any proof on paper but I hand-wrote 97 pages, in pencil, about all the abuse from my husband from the day it began over a dozen years prior. As long as you can remember the year and the approximate month or close to it, you'll be fine.
  • Keep trusted family members and friends phone numbers and email addresses hidden somewhere nearby in case there is an emergency. If you have to, keep them in your bra or underwear or socks every day just to ensure you have that information readily available.
  • Also, have the phone numbers/email addresses of emergency shelters/battered women's centers in your area. Even if there isn't one close to you, there are many that will drive to you and pick you up in an emergency.
  • Have a bag packed with some essentials, paperwork, tax information, birth certificates, social security cards and information, etc. These are all things you will need in the near future to get yourself all the help and aid that you need. Although you can amass these things later, it's much easier to have the originals/copies with you.
  • If you have children, of course have bags and paperork for them packed away as well. Depending on your childrens ages, you may not want to tell them about your plan to leave until it's time to go. Young children will be scared and may bring it up in front of the abuser and it can definitely cause them too much anxiety and stress. Therefore, causing the abuser to get angrier and the abuse will elevate.
  • Get yourself a can of mace or a tazer. I know this sounds harsh but for the abusers that are very physical, you may need something of this nature to fight them off of you when you're ready to leave. Sometimes abusers will figure out what you're up to and stop going to work, stalk you, or have other people watching you. If this happens you need to have protection for yourself.
  • Of course 911 is always the first thought a person has, but not everyone has time to wait for them, especially if you live in the suburbs/country like I used to.
  • Take target shooting lessons. If there's any way you're able to get away and take gun safety lessons, and purchase a gun for protection, by all means do that. The 2nd Amendment says that we can own guns and use them to protect ourselves.
  • Lastly, pick a day and time to leave. You must know our destination prior to leaving in order to make the transition as smoothly as possible. Alert the place you will be going to, to ensure they have beds and space for you at that time. Amass all of your belongings and money, get them together for a quick getaway.
  • You're home-free, you did it!! You never have to live an abused life again, and neither will your poor, innocent children. Amen!

If the abuse is very/violently physical:

  • You can prepare in the same way as above but you must take other actions as well. Alert the authorities, let them know your situation and that you need their assistance in making sure the abuser can not/will not be able to find you or follow you so that you may reach your destination safely.
  • In worst-case scenarios, you may need the authorities to help you and your children obtain fake identities and you may need to move long distances away from your abuser. I've talked to too many women that stay near their home city or state, and the abuser finds them. As difficult and heart-breaking as that may be, if you want yourself and your children to stay safe and alive, you have to take action.
  • Just remember, for anyone leaving an abusive situation, NEVER leave a trail of evidence behind when planning to leave an abuser. Delete browser history, texts, emails, phone calls, any documents pertaining to the abuse must be done away with immediately after using them!! Send copies of everything to a friend or family member for evidence but never forget to cover your tracks!

You CAN be free! You can be a feeling, loving, viable human being again! You can get out of this depression, this self-loathing, this guilt! You can do it! I did it!

Have you ever been in an abusive relationship?

See results

I did all of these things and I made it. I'm free! I prepared myself mentally long before I prepared our material things or anything else. it's the only way to be successful. You are amazing you are worth happiness in this lifetime!

I'll write my entire story another day but you're welcome to comment or email me with any questions whatsoever. I'm here for you:) I wish you the best of luck and happiness. Stay strong!

5 stars for Leaving your abuser


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    • MissJamieD profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Charrons-I'm sorry you've dealt with all of this. I personally think the emotional abuse IS the toughest to deal with because scars and bruises heal, the brain does not forget. And that's not to say that physical abuse victims don't suffer emotionally because they do, but as far as the abuse itself I definitely think it's the mental part of it that hurts the worst and the longest. Thanks so much for reading. I hope you're safe and happy.

    • CharronsChatter profile image

      Karen Robiscoe 

      5 years ago from California

      Such a complete checklist. There are so many forms of abuse in a relationship; I've experienced the gamut, and I sometimes wonder if psychological abuse (gaslighting, insulting,etc...) isn't worse. It's definitely insidious.

      This article definitely has me thinking.

    • MissJamieD profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Anna you're exactly right! I always spoke openly and honestly about my abuse to my family and friends. I wanted them to understand that the decisions I was making were not my own, I felt stuck, he was not treating me like he should. But I gave it time because I don't believe in giving up either. I didn't know if I deserved it at first and that's what many victims struggle with. Once I gained my personal strength back, there was no doubt in my kind so when I finally left I had very little. I did that on purpose, I was tired of relying in others to help me out of this and they were tired of me going back and forth. I had to do this myself to shoe myself and the world that this was IT! I was done. So I did it;) thanks so much for commenting and reading. My only hope is that I can help one person get out of an abusive relationship.

    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 

      5 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      Great work MissJamieD! I admire your courage, both to do what you did, but also to openly share your experiences, to be "naked" in front of the world. That is real courage. And you are helping others with doing that, this is for sure. If I could say something, it is that I will press on being HONEST. If you are honest to yourself and to others, telling about your situation instead of hiding and protecting your partner, you have the source for managing to get out of it all and create yourself the life you deserve. Ask for help! Don't think you can solve it on your own. We need each other. Always.

    • MissJamieD profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      That's awesome Sara!! I applaud any woman who has the guts and strength to leave. Of course I feel sorry for the ones that don't because they never quite muster up the confidence and strength, but it takes unbelievable courage to get away from an abuser. You live in fear for quite some time afterwards, some people live in fear forever. So these things do change a person. But one thing I've accomplished, not only getting away from my abuser, but being happy again. Something I never thought I'd feel again. It's so worth it! Thanks for reading:)

    • profile image

      Sarra Garrett 

      5 years ago

      Excellent! My ex (my son's father) is a cop and was very abusive to me. He blackend my eyes, broke my nose and shattered my cheek. Believe me it didn't take me long to get my stuff together and when the opportunity was available and I knew I was safe I left.

    • MissJamieD profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Thanks Rexy, I hope I can help someone someday too. That's my goal.

    • rexy profile image


      5 years ago

      hope that your article will help some one out there.... keep up the good work and writing....

    • MissJamieD profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Sallybea-thank you so much for reading hon:) Have a great day!!

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      5 years ago from Norfolk

      Very brave piece of writing with lots of good advice, thanks for sharing.

    • MissJamieD profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Thanks for reading:)

    • OneShiningMoment profile image

      Brandon Thurman 

      5 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Wow.... powerful piece.

    • MissJamieD profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Preshj-thank you so much! Yes, humans were made to need social interaction, nurturing, and support. Thanks for reading.

    • preshj profile image


      5 years ago from Chicago

      Great article! The most vital part is gaining support anywhere possible.


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