Prevent Future Domestic Violence
Did you just escape an abusive spouse or partner? Not sure what to do next? Here are a few suggestions to help you and your family begin healing—and prevent future abuse.
- Change your locks. If you've filed a police report against your abuser, you can get your locks changed for FREE. For details, call 800-621-HOPE (4673).
- Tell your neighbors your partner no longer lives with you. Ask them to call the police if he's seen near your home.
- Alert your childcare provider if your partner is not allowed to take your children.
- Teach your children how to make collect calls in case your partner takes your kids without permission.
- Tell your boss or security guard at work about your situation, if you feel comfortable mentioning it.
- Mix up your commute to make it harder for your partner to keep tabs on you: take different routes, trains or buses to work, or change parking places.
- Change banks—don't bank at the same branch as your partner.
- Shop in different neighborhoods, stores and malls from those of your partner.
It's not easy to shake off the fear of domestic violence–even after you escape it. You need time to grieve, heal and learn how to protect yourself and your family from future abuse.
You may find it helpful to:
- Start counseling or psychotherapy.
- Join a support group and share your experience with other domestic violence survivors.
- Get in touch with other survivors through domestic abuse online forums such as BrokenSpirits.com.
- Make an extra effort to spend time with supportive friends or family.
- Think ahead and make a plan that ensures your safety, if you must contact your partner on the phone or in person.
- Step back–take a deep breath, write in a journal, call a friend–do whatever it takes to avoid the impulse to return to an abusive relationship.