How to Escape from an Abusive Relationship.
Tools to Help You Leave Before it's Too Late.
You've finally realized that you are too good for him. That is the first step... and it is a huge one. Now, that you have your courage, let me help you with the rest.
(Disclaimer: These are only suggestions, based on my personal experience and informative articles and resources. It is important to call the police if your life is in danger.)
Don't Be a Statistic
Every day four women die in this country as a result of domestic violence...The number of women who have been murdered by their intimate partners is greater than the number of soldiers killed in the Vietnam War.
All stats from WADT.org
Make a plan
Write down what you need to accomplish before you leave. This may sound risky, but you can do it in words only you will understand. Use shorthand and be discreet. If he finds it, you have no idea what it is or what the notes were even about.
A few ideas:
- You can write it in an email and save it as a draft. Who checks drafts?
- Open "Notepad" in your Accessories folder or on your cell phone and save the list as something boring such as "recipes".
- Write it on a small piece of paper and hide it in a book. Tape can hold it in place on a lucky page number. Or just write it directly on the page.
Make a Schedule
Write up a timeline, if you can do it without being caught. Keep this on your person and do not show anyone. Put the dates you are setting for your goals from your first list. Again, write in shorthand. Do not write this on a calendar or in Outlook.
Books That Give You Courage
Try these books if you still need convincing.
This is it!
Know that no matter how bad it is or how scary it gets, the future is better.
This IS your rock bottom.
Save money, if you can do it without him noticing.
Get a loan: if your situation is getting worse daily, ask a friend for a loan. Tell them you will have to pay them back in payments. Do not tell them what it is for unless they know your situation. Offer to write up a contract and sign it.
Do not ever take money from him. He will notice, you will blow your cover, and he will get angry.
You may possibly need money for:
- Deposit on Apartment
- Hotel Room
- Food for Your Trip
- Train or Bus Ticket
- Utility startups
- Living supplies
- Clothing if Looking for New Job
Need Money For Your Escape? - Sell the stuff that won't fit in your car.
Ebay is a great resource. You can sell your stuff to raise money and have that money deposited into your PayPal account, then directly transferred to your secret account. You can also use Ebay to buy items you might need for your escape.
Make Extra Copies of Your Keys
Go to the hardware store and car dealership and get extra keys made. You will need an extra set if he takes yours while you are trying to leave. Do not keep these at home.
A few good places to keep them:
- In the trunk of your car (under the floor board, where the spare tire goes)
- At work, in your desk
- At a friend's house (everyone gives a set of keys to a friend, right?)
Keep them in your trunk, under the floor board (if possible). Come up with an excuse for needing boxes in case you are caught (for ex: your boss asked you to buy them for work). You will also need packing tape. In a pinch, you can move clothing and other items quickly using trash bags and a laundry basket.
Plan Your Route
How will you travel? Where will you go? You must answer and research these questions before you leave. Look up mapped routes and various ways to get to your destination. You need options in case you feel like you were followed.
Find a Hotel
You will need to have a place to go on the first night. Make no mistake, you will probably be searched for or followed.
Do not leave immediately. Stay overnight in a very random and inconspicuous location. A good choice would be across town in the opposite direction from which you will be traveling in your escape. You should not stay with a friend (too obvious).
Find a hotel. Do not make a reservation. When you arrive, you will need to tell the clerk NOT to give your name out to callers. Ask if you can register under a phony name if you pay cash, upfront. Tell them what you are doing. Be sure you know the number to the local police, lock the doors and windows, pull both curtains closed completely, and make sure the phone in your room works.
You will also need hotels along your route. Traveling at night is not a good idea. If you break down and you've been followed, you are less likely to be in view of passersby. Choose a couple of reliable chains that you know will be in several cities right off of your route. Have options. Look up locations for several stopping points and make sure the hotels you stay at are NOT on the main road.
Tell Your Work
Put in your notice and tell your boss why. Do this two weeks in advance, so that you can use the job as a reference at your new location. If you do tell any coworkers, be sure that they do not know your abuser on a personal level. You never know when someone will take the other side.
Tell a Friend
Tell a trusted friend or family member the day and time (not the plan) that you will need them to call and check on you. If you do not answer your cell phone on this day and time, they will need to send the police to your house, looking for you.
No ifs, ands, or buts. If you do not answer have them send the police.
Execute the Plan; Independence Day.
Be sure you have a good day and time. This could be a day he is at a meeting or out of the house; definitely a work day. If you quit your job early, you need to make it appear that you have been going to work everyday until this day.
On your independence day, get ready like usual and leave the house before he does, if possible (you may need to start leaving before him occassionally, in advance, so this is not an odd thing for you to do). Park far away, along his route. After you see him drive by, go back to the house.
Do not carry your cell phone, money, or spare keys into the house. I repeat: leave all important items ESPECIALLY YOUR CELL PHONE hidden in the car. If you are not driving, find a temporary safe location for these items. A good place would be in the mailbox, in an envelope that says "do NOT mail".
While he is gone, pack as much as you can into your boxes and trash bags and leave the house well before lunch time. Go to the hotel across town and check in under your fictitious name. Lay low until the next day, then leave early along one of your routes. Only travel during the day and stay in a hotel off of the main road at night.
For Best Results; Follow These!
While you are saving, it is important to keep your mouth shut and lay low. If he finds out, your plan is obsolete. Telling trusted friends and family is one of the last steps in your plan.
If you must talk, talk to a therapist. There are numbers you can call or sliding scale therapists that you can see. They are sworn to silence and cannot tell your plan to anyone.
Open an account for your money:
Otherwise you will have to keep it on your person. If you must keep it with you, hide it in a tampon case or gum pack in your purse. You can also hide it under your floor mats in your car in an emergency (but keeping it here long term is inviting theft).
Do Not Go Back
After you leave:
NEVER turn back.
This is your ONLY chance!
Extremely Important Reminder
If you are caught, do not fight. Do not try to escape. Simply give in to your "punishment" and know that your contact is sending the police to your house. When the police show up, if there are any drugs or weapons in the house, tell them immediately. This will help everyone involved. Tell them you want to leave, but are being restrained. Tell them you are being abused and you fear for your life. Tell them the truth.
If you are followed, drive to the nearest police or fire station. If you cannot find one, go to the most public place you can find, run inside, and call the police.
Cover Your Tracks
If using a shared computer to plan this escape, you need to cover your tracks. Go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options, On the General tab, go to the Browsing History section, & click Delete. Delete the Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, and History.