How to get out of an abusive relationship

Being in an abusive relationship can be one of the hardest things you can face.

These are some of the ways you can get out of an abusive relationship.

You must remember that it is not your fault that you are being abused. You aren’t responsible for your partner’s behaviour and you deserve to be in an environment where you are safe and comfortable. There are places where you can get help if you’ve been a victim of abuse. You should never feel as if you’re alone and be shameful for what happened to you.

Realising that you need to leave

This is the first step. Knowing that you want to leave means  you know you’re not in a safe space. Making that decision is not easy and the fact that you just did, shows how strong you are. Sometimes we stay in an abusive relationship hoping that person will change. It is unlikely that they will if they aren’t getting the help they need. Even if they do, things will never be the same. You’ll always be afraid and uncomfortable.

Abusers tend to promise to stop the abuse, but they never do. They all nice for a few hours or a day, and then it’s back to square one. They will always plead for you to give them another chance. A trick that they always use is to spoil you with gifts, thinking that will make things right.

It’s normal to be scared of what will happen once you leave that person. It could be that you’re worried about supporting yourself or  your kids, and these are some of the things that make us stay in such relationships. It’s a  fear of the unknown.

Talk to someone you trust

It’s possible that it can take you some time to leave your partner and this is because there are a lot of things that might be holding you back. Sometimes you even fear that they might kill you if you do. Abusers like scaring victims because they believe that is what will make them stay in the relationship. It won’t be easy to open up, but the people close to you want what’s best for you. Let them know that you’re planning on leaving and you’re going to need help.

A code word

This is a word  which the people close to you know about. If you ever use it when you’re talking to a friend on the phone, they’ll know that you are in danger and call the police.

Be ready to leave the house

It’s normal to be scared of attempting this. Always make sure that your car is fuelled up and  is at a place where it won’t take long for you to drive out. Make sure that the spare keys are somewhere  you can grab and quickly run. Things such important documents, clothes or cash can be at a friend’s place just in case you need them.

Practice the plan

Practising this is not stupid but it’ll help when you eventually need to do it and your partner is there. If you have kids, do it with them so  they know what to do when your abuser attacks.

Emergency contacts

Memorise emergency contacts so  you know whom to call once you get out of the house. It may be the local shelter, a friend’s contacts, or the police.