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Leaving your abuser

Free chapter

The chapter on leaving from the book 'Get Out Get Love' is provided here to help.

Leaving an abuser (planning essentials)

First and foremost be safe.  

If your partner is a danger to you, please plan carefully and be sure to leave at the safest time with the most support (official and social support) as you can arrange.

Everything below is recommended.  With this said, leaving an abuser is important and if you are in danger or planning seems impossible - do what you can and leave safely. 
Do not make the process of creating a perfect plan become the reason you don't leave.

Talk to somebody

  • A GP / Nurse in an appointment where you can talk alone.  If your partner comes with you, try to signal with a note or a question to the desk (such as, "shouldn't I be alone when I speak to the Dr?".  Most staff are trained to pick up on this signal.

  • A staff member in your child's school.

  • A well trusted friend or family member

  • HR or your manager, if you work.

  • A free phone line that offers abuse victims support (google will provide links for your country / area)

  • Local abuse service

Create a crisis exit plan

You may need to leave quickly, once your planning starts.  Email important information to a friend or write it down and store it somewhere you can access it safely.  

  • Your GP tel number

  • School tel number

  • Your bank account number and branch tel number

  • Key phone numbers of friends etc

  • A list of medications (if you need them daily)

Other items you should try to carry at all times:

  • Your mobile phone.

  • A small amount of cash to pay for a taxi / bus and a small meal

  • Bank cards (if you have access)

Create an escape plan in your head for a rapid exit.  Where would you go?  How will you get there?  How will you get your children out?  Who will you need to contact ASAP?

If you can - take a very small day pack with you.  A change of clothes and essential medications etc.

Prepare to leave

Pick a time when you are most likely going to be held back or face challenge from your partner.

Be sure to leave with your children, if you can - as getting access can be very challenging later.

Tell a friend / supporter to expect you - if you are going to them.

Pack a leaving bag - if you have time (below)

What to take

  • Personal ID & your National insurance number (UK)

  • Bank cards and details


  • Cash

  • Passports

  • Children's birth certificates

  • Keys for your car and house etc

  • Any cards you need to access benefits

  • Your medications

  • Legal documents relating to house tenancy / mortgage (photograph these if you can't take them)

  • Insurance documents

  • Jewellery and any small sentimental items

  • Clothing and toiletaries

  • A small toy for your child (that they like)

  • Any evidence of abuse that you have (photos, diaries etc) 

Staying safe

It is important to avoid contact with your abuser, as best you can.  You may want to tell key people that you have been abused, to activate their support and compassion.

Other considerations:

  • Change routines - shop in new places, do not go to usual social spaces where your ex might be.

  • Do not isolate yourself - making yourself less protected or supported.

  • Change any routine appointments to new times.

  • Ask a friend to manage school collections or find a safe way to manage drop offs and pick ups.  Avoid being followed.

  • Tell your employer to not pass on any information to your ex

  • Tell the children's schools to limit pick-ups to you / someone with an agreed password.

  • Ensure your phone is not trackable - check with the phone company how to do this / change your phone for a cheap alternative.

  • Ask the bank to provide you with your own bank account ASAP, if your accounts are shared.

  • Do not share your address on any letters to your ex - even court papers.

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