What are practical, tangible steps someone can and should take when preparing to escape an abusive relationship?
If it’s physically violent abuse:
I really like what Fredric Garms had to say on this subject:
I would add that if you reasonably believe you have some time to prepare:
- save up some money to help you get on your feet in your new location and life
- avoid communicating in writing and with your personal phone with those who are helping you, so that your abuser will have a harder time discovering your fears and plans
- have a P.I. (private investigator)
- sweep your vehicle and phone for tracking devices and teach you how to sweep your vehicle and phone for tracking devices
- teach you how to avoid attention, tracking, and surveillance by your abuser
- teach you how and/or help you to disappear without leaving a trace and without your abuser being able to victimize you after you disappear by ruining your credit or things like that.
If it’s emotional abuse:
- try to get your abuser to realize what he/she is doing is abusive and that you want it to change
- urge your abuser to make an earnest good faith commitment to some couple’s therapy or counseling
- look at yourself and ask whether you need to change, regardless of being a victim of emotional abuse
- If reasonable—reasonable—efforts (made over a reasonable time) to get your abuser to change fail, break off the relationship. Easier said than done, but you can’t expect things to get better if your abuser won’t even try to change.
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