How to leave an abusive relationship as safely as possible

If you are being abused by your husband or significant other, you are not alone. Both men and women are victims of domestic violence, though this issue affects far more women annually. Over five million American women are abused every year by their significant others. In total, one quarter of American women will be the victims of domestic partner violence during their lives.

Every single woman who chooses to leave this cycle of abuse is brave for doing so. Not only because it is a decision she alone can make, but because there is real danger involved in leaving an abusive relationship. That is why it is critical for women to do so as safely as possible.

First, please take precautions when you are researching legal help or other resources designed to help you leave safely. In this day and age, it is not difficult for another person to research your phone and browser history. As a result, you should set up an email account your significant other has no access to and only research resources when you are using a terminal he has no access to. Work computers and library terminals are good places to start.

Second, understand that the law is designed to protect and support women leaving abusive relationships and their children as well. Many attorneys will offer consultations to women seeking restraining orders against their abusers.

Finally, please prioritize your safety above all else. If you are in immediate danger, seek out help from law enforcement and an attorney. Everything else is secondary to your safety.

Source: Huffington Post, "For Divorcing Women In Abusive Relationships, Knowledge Is Power," Jeffrey A. Landers, Nov. 21, 2012