Being the victim of domestic violence can shake you to your core, and before you know it you can feel like you’re completely out of options. It’s not your fault, but when you’re the victim of something so traumatic it can be hard to think clearly and make the right decisions all the time.
However, one thing you do need to focus on is protecting your family, especially if you have small children in your home. While you may or may not end up staying with your partner, there are some things you need to do right away.
Use this guide to help you understand more about protecting your family when domestic violence is a constant threat in your life.
Pack a Bag
When you have children you need to be able to get out the door at the drop of a hat if a violent situation should arise. For that reason it is essential that you pack a bag and make sure you’re ready to use it if you need to.
Make sure that you pack clothing for your children and all of the items that they’ll need in order to be comfortable for a few days away from the home. If you have joint accounts you should also make sure you have some cash in your to-go bag.
You may end up being unable to use your credit cards without the person you’re moving away from tracking and finding you. That’s a scary thought, but it’s better to be safe than sorry in domestic violence situations.
Have a Place to Stay
Domestic violence situations can make it so that you can’t be in your home. Before you are forced to leave quickly you need to know where you’re going to go in order to get away from a violent person in your house.
Your best bet is to talk with a close friend or family member and make sure you can stay with them for a few nights in case things get bad. Have this plan ahead of time and you won’t be out in the cold or in an expensive hotel with your children.
Abusers can change, and in many cases, childhood trauma and negative patterns are the reasons for domestic violence. However, you do need to get the abuser into an in-person or online domestic violence program and they need to complete it before you consider going back.
Don’t put yourself in harm’s way for somebody that isn’t willing to change to make sure that you and your family are safe.