04 Jun Leaving an Abusive Relationship and Moving On Safely
**We are honored to have Nora Hood guest blogging for Binefit**
Being in an abusive relationship is scary, and yet making the decision to get out of the relationship can be just as frightening. If you are a domestic abuse survivor, you have already taken a huge step in deciding to move. When you’re ready, it’s important to put plans into place and reach out for help in order to ensure your safety.
Get Away Safely
If you are in immediate danger, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you are unable to talk, you can visit www.thehotline.org to request a chat.
As long as you are not in immediate danger, it’s important to develop a safety plan before leaving. The purpose of a safety plan is to reduce the danger to you and come up with essential steps that will allow you to get away quickly and safely. Your safety plan should include these steps:
- Determine a safe place you can go to, whether you plan to stay with a friend or family member or if you’re going to a domestic violence shelter. If you don’t know where to find a local resource, gov provides a search tool to look up resources by state.
- Determine the route you will use to get to a safe place. You may want to map out a route from several locations, such as your home and workplace.
- Gather a bag of essential personal items and important legal documents that you can grab when you’re ready to leave. Make sure your bag is hidden where the abuser cannot find it, either somewhere in your home or with a trusted friend.
- Gather any evidence of abuse to take with you when you leave.
Along with your plan for getting away, you may also need to make financial plans. Set up a bank account separate from your abuser and try to deposit money if possible. Protect your online identity by changing all passwords for online banking and PIN numbers so they are different from anything you have used in the past. Time Money recommends setting new passwords that don’t include any personal information that your abuser could potentially discover. You should also check your credit. If your abuser has damaged your credit, that could harm your future financial security as well as your ability to buy a new home.
Finding Your New Home
Once you have gotten away from your abuser, you will want to begin searching for a new home where you can start over. If you’re looking into buying a new home, part of your search will involve researching the best prices and neighborhoods in your region. According to Redfin, the average listing price for a home in Troy, MI, is $350,000. You may want to consider moving to a new neighborhood because it will give you a fresh start and the opportunity to create new patterns and routines. Changing up your routines, including routes you drive and stores you frequent, will make it harder for your abuser to find you.
Part of your safety plan should also include ways to stay safe after your move. Keep your new address private and open a PO Box instead. Take measures to keep your new home safe, such as installing a security system and checking that all doors and windows have deadbolts. Your ongoing safety extends outside the home, too. Create a special safety plan to have in place at work, possibly involving security and having a plan for entering and leaving work. You can also take steps to protect your online privacy by getting new mobile devices and changing your phone number and email address.
Going through this process is frightening, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you don’t have someone you can turn to, don’t hesitate to reach out to a local agency or the national hotline for support. You are taking a huge step in securing your safety, now and for the future.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, Binefit can help. Binefit is known for its ability to move people and their belongings quickly and discreetly. If you need their services, please call (313) 312-9815.
About the author: This guest post was written by Nora Hood. Nora Hood is a freelance writer and creator of ThreeDaily.org. She considers domestic violence to be a form of domestic terrorism. She became a passionate advocate for ending domestic violence when she began volunteering at a women’s shelter while in college. She has continued her volunteer work over the years and recently started ThreeDaily.org to raise awareness about the issue while also creating a nationwide activist network of individuals who want to bring an end to domestic violence. The site fosters a community for those seeking information about, writing about and speaking out about domestic violence.