It is often said that when one is in an abusive situation, all you have to do is leave. Friends, family, coworkers, etc…have the best intentions when they say that. However, speaking from experience, it is just not that simple. Go where? Report to whom? Will I be safe? Will my children be able to come with me? What about transportation and child care? Domestic violence is more than physical. The emotional scarring lasts long after the physical wounds have healed. Victims are just as afraid of the unknown and uncertainty of what to expect when they get the courage to leave. It is difficult to think rationally when you’re in an irrational situation, dealing with an irrational person. How do you ‘just leave’?
Obviously, if someone’s being physically assaulted, they need to run as fast as they can and call for help. In those instances, it may be a matter of life or death for yourself, the assailant and/or whomever is around at the time. What I am proposing is that victims establish an exit plan; a means by which they can remove themselves from a hostile situation with as little conflict as possible. I am reminded of Julia Roberts’ movie, Sleeping With the Enemy, where she played an abused wife who faked her own death in order to escape her controlling, narcissistic husband. Take some time (not much) to look at your options, do what you can and seek help from someone you trust to help you with the rest. The key to the planning is simply this: PLAN TO STAY ALIVE. You can plan for and obtain material comforts as time passes.