More than 10 million American women and men are physically abused by an intimate partner each year. Survivors who escape this difficult environment also struggle to find a safe and secure home post-abuse. Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, put together a guide for those preparing to leave to be in the best situation possible, both financially and mentally.
Before leaving an abusive situation, this is what they suggest:
Start to set aside money for yourself, whether that be extra cash or a new bank account, if possible.
Create an emergency bag with all of your essentials, for example your car keys, cash, medication, and a change of clothes. Be sure to store this bag somewhere where no one else will find it.
Buy a prepaid phone. This will allow you to have secure and discrete conversations.
Collect all of your important documents, including those of others that you are leaving with. This can include your license, passport, birth certificate, etc.
Once you have begun preparing what you need, you can begin to plan how you are going to safely escape. If available, reach out to friends, family, or even law enforcement. Local law enforcement can provide you with a protective order or police escort. You are also entitled to request that local police be on call during your actual departure, in case you need help. Be sure to check with your local law enforcement first, as resources do vary by area.
Most importantly, it is crucial that you plan where you are going to live afterwards.