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Leaving a Partner

What Should I Do If I Am Thinking About Leaving My Abusive Partner?

Think about the following:

  • Several places you could go if you leave your home
  • People who might help you.  If possible, leave a bag of necessities at their house
  • Getting a cell phone or keeping change for phone calls
  • Opening a bank account/credit card in your name
  • How you might leave
  • How to take your children with you safely

Take the following items with you, if possible:

  • Children
  • Money
  • Keys to car, house, work
  • Extra clothes
  • Medicine
  • Important papers for you and your children
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social security cards
  • School and medical records
  • Checkbooks, credit cards
  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration
  • Welfare identification
  • Passports, green cards, work permits
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
  • Insurance papers
  • Military Protective Order (MPO)/Civilian Protective Order (CPO), divorce papers, custody papers
  • Address book
  • Pictures, jewelry, sentimental things
  • Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)

How Can I Keep Myself Safe At Work?

  • Keep a copy of your MPO/CPO at work
  • Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work
  • Tell your supervisors – see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you
  • Don’t go to lunch alone
  • Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to the bus
  • If the abuser contacts you at work, save voicemails and e-mails

What Can I Do to Keep Myself Safe If I Have Left My Abuser?

  • Get a cell phone.
  • Get a MPO/CPO.  Keep a copy with you at all times.  Give a copy to the police, your children’s caregivers, schools, and your boss.
  • Change the locks.
  • Install a security system and outside lights.
  • Change your number to be unlisted.
  • Use an answering machine/voicemail to screen calls.
  • Tell friends and neighbors your abuser no longer lives with you.  Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser outside or near your home.
  • Tell someone at work what has happened.
  • Try not to use the same stores, banks, or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.
  • Find a safe way to speak with your abuser, if necessary.
  • Take a self-defense course.
  • Go over your safety plan.


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