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What is the safest way to escape domestic violence?

For victims of spousal abuse, their relationships can seem like impenetrable spiderwebs from which they are unable to escape. With every step they take toward freedom, their abusers find another way to keep them dependent or make them afraid to leave. You and other Kentucky residents who are being abused are not in a hopeless situation, however. There are steps you can take and people you can turn to that may make it possible to escape a volatile relationship.

Having an escape plan is essential to leaving an abusive spouse, explains the National Domestic Violence Hotline. You might enact the following plan if your spouse has a short temper and has physically harmed you before:

  • Save up emergency cash and put it in a place your spouse does not know about, such as at your parents’ house.
  • Keep photos, screenshots of text messages, emergency room records and other evidence of abuse in a safe place, so you can show them in court if needed.
  • Learn the phone numbers and locations of abuse shelters, crisis counselors and police stations.
  • Gradually gather clothing, items you do not want destroyed and important documents that you will need when you are on your own and store them in your safe place.
  • Reach out to trusted friends, family members, law enforcement and counselors about your situation and enlist their help.
  • Do not feel as if you must wait until everything on your list is completed before leaving; if you are in immediate danger, call the police.

When you feel ready to leave, you may seek a protection order against your abuser, which prohibits him or her from contacting or approaching you. You should not have to live in fear or feel trapped in an abusive marriage. Because this is a sensitive topic, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer with experience in domestic violence situations.

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