It’s common for those who don’t understand the nature of domestic violence to question, “why don’t they just leave?”
Anyone experiencing domestic violence knows it can be very complicated and dangerous to try to leave an abusive situation. Victims know their abuser’s behaviors best and know when they are safest. Victim’s choices should always be respected. They know what will work best for them and what steps they can or cannot take.
When you decide you’re ready to leave an abusive relationship, there are many decisions to make. Do I have financial resources to leave and start on my own (financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships)? Where will I go? How will I leave safely with my children? What about my pets? If I leave do I risk retaliation and further harm?
Free and Confidential Help is Available
Leaving an abusive relationship can be the most dangerous time, but there is help available. The best thing to do is to call your local domestic violence program to a access a variety of free and confidential services that can help you get to safety and rebuild your life. Before you plan to leave, a domestic violence advocate can help you create a safety plan that works best for your own particular scenario.