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Ways to exit a toxic relationship safely. Pixabay
  • One should accept one’s presence in an abusive relationship
  • Make arrangements to flee and keep your family safe
  • Reach out organizations created for this purpose

July 19, 2017: People comfort themselves by giving various reasons to justify staying in an abusive relationship but one of the common excuses is fear. Fear of an emotional breakdown, fear of physical violence, fear of not being able to leave the relationship safely, fear of instability, or fear of being unable to survive on our own. However, one can easily overcome such fears. There exist ways to safely exit a toxic relationship and putting a red light on domestic violence. The following tips can help one overcome the trauma that one has been going through.

ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF ABUSE


Firstly, one needs to acknowledge the fact that one is experiencing abuse in their relationship. There can be different types of abuse, for instance, sexual, physical, mental, financial, or a combination. It is essential for the victim to accept that they are not being treated properly as it can enable them with the power to exit even if the situation makes them feel ashamed.

REACH OUT FOR HELP

It is not necessary for everyone to have their family or friends besides them or they may not be the best resource but one is never alone. There are various organizations designed especially to help those suffering abuse in relationships.

There exist places owned by these organizations which provide emergency shelters to you and your family. They provide individual therapy, group therapy, providing food and clothing and help with the legal matter.

ALSO READ: Violence against Women and Girls Imposes Large-scale Costs on Families, Communities, and Economies, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

CREATE AN EXIT STRATEGY

Preparing a strategy can help you have everything in place so that you can leave for your own good. Some of the guidelines are as follows:

  • Speak to someone trustworthy and let them know your plan. For example, making a code word for text if you are need help immediately
  • Documenting the abuse can be really helpful. Preserve any proof of physical abuse (like photos), a book of all incidences noting carefully events, dates, and threats), or a record of a doctor’s visit
  • Plans should be shared with children and they should be provided with reassurance that they should keep themselves safe and not try and protect you

You must be prepared if you plan to leave sooner than expected. You must make a plan immediately for such a situation-

  • Know the number of local battered shelter for women in your area
  • Park your car in the driveway, keeping it fueled. The driver’s door must be unlocked and other doors locked
  • Keep money aside with family or trusted friends
  • Pack a bag containing IDs, extra keys, birth certificates, social security cards, marriage license, credit cards, clothes, medications, shoes, banking information — anything which is significant to you and stores them at a friend or neighbor’s house
  • Have essential phone numbers noted somewhere except your phone
  • If you have time, also take titles, Citizenship documents, medical records, deeds, property information, insurance information, children’s immunization and school records, and welfare identification

STAYING SAFE AFTER YOU LEAVE

The need to be aware of your surroundings will not stop after you have left. You will want to make sure to check off these items once you have left so that you can be safe for a long time.

If the offender is preparing to leave and you receive a restraining order:

  • Alter your phone number and locks
  • Change your hours of work and the route taken to go to work
  • Alter the route to drop children to school
  • Keep a restraining order copy with you always
  • Inform employers, neighbors, and friends that you have an effective restraining order
  • Give its copies to friends, family, employees, neighbors, school authorities along with offender’s picture
  • For enforcing the order, contact law enforcement

If you are leaving the relationship:

  • Think about either using the address of a friend or renting a post office box for any of your mails. Be careful while giving your new phone number and address to someone
  • Keep the school authorities updated about the situation
  • Reschedule appointments
  • Use different social spots and stores
  • Keep neighbors alerted, and request them to reach out to the police if they sense danger
  • Make arrangement for security systems
  • Inform people who take care of your children and who can pick up your children. Make them understand your condition and hand them with a restraining order copy
  • For caller ID, contact telephone company

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025


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