How to Safely End a Violent Relationship

Despite their best intentions, many people find themselves stuck in a relationship with a violent partner.  This situation becomes even more threatening when you decide it’s time to leave.  In order to protect yourself and your loved ones, it’s important to understand the safe ways in which to leave a violent relationship.  Whether you feel your own personal safety is at immediate risk or not, you must seek help in order to successfully end a situation like this.


Before you attempt to leave your violent partner, get the support of a local domestic violence counseling service or organization.  They will be able to offer you a helping hand if you feel powerless or at a loss regarding which way to turn. 


Research your options for housing and other useful resources so you’ll be safe once you leave the relationship.  Staying at a motel is often your first thought, but if you chose to stay there alone, you will have no protection against further abuse should your partner manage to track you down.  A motel charge will show up on your credit card statement, which your partner can access online and use to track you down, so pay cash or choose the safer option and stay with a friend. 


Leaving your relationship is possible, but it’s best not to do it alone.


Before you take the first steps, make a list of your support system of friends and family that you can count on to help you once you leave your relationship.  If you live in the same house as your violent partner, you’ll need a place to stay when you leave.  When you do leave, it is a good idea to for you not to stay with family members who your partner knows well.  When they discover you are missing, they may visit your family straight away in an attempt to find you and bring you back.


In terms of how to tell you partner that you are leaving them, it’s a good idea to have support when you deliver the news of your departure in cases of severely violent partners.  If you feel threatened when you attempt to leave your relationship, get the help of family and law enforcement right away.  It is usually best for you to pack in advance, leave when your partner is out, and leave them a note.  That way, they will not be able to harm you if they react badly to your leaving (which you can be assured that they will).


Plan your escape so that you’ll be able to walk out without leaving important items behind.  Don’t forget to bring all your financial and legal documents and paperwork, so that you can later cancel any joint accounts you may have and cut off any payments you’re making to your joint utilities.  Don’t risk going back to the house even once, or there may be a chance that your partner will be able to talk you into staying and giving them “another shot.”


Decide the day you’ll leave your relationship and have things ready at a friend’s home where you will stay.  Include your support system in the process so you will be protected as you make this important decision.  Call a crisis hotline on a friend’s phone if you need a friendly ear or some advice on exactly what to do.  And always inform law enforcement agencies if you feel that your life or safety, or the safety of your friends and family is threatened. 


The bottom line is that nobody deserves to be treated violently within a relationship.  You don’t have to live with fear.  Get out now, and it may be the best thing you ever did for yourself.

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