If you’re reading this, you have probably recently left an abusive relationship. Firstly, well done on taking positive action and walking away. You may have been wanting to leave for a long time and waiting for the right moment or perhaps you made a split-second decision that enough was enough. Either way, no one deserves to be in a relationship that is physically or emotionally abusive. You have done the right thing, but what next? It can be hard to know where to turn and what to organize when you are running on adrenaline. Here are the key things to think about.
If you and your ex have children and you’ve taken them with you, do they have everything they need? Are they safe? If you have left them with your ex, are you confident they are safe and being cared for? There are charities to help you in the hours and days immediately following you leaving. Your child’s daycare or school will be able to signpost you to them (some are national, others are local).If you are worried about how to feed your family, there are a number of federal, state and local programs that will help. Again, day care or school will be able to give you their details or you could approach a local church to see if they have a food bank.
Depending on your circumstances, you might be staying with friends or family in the immediate aftermath of leaving. If you have savings, you might be staying in a hotel or rental. Temporary housing could be another alternative. For those who have nowhere to go, it is worth checking out the charities on this list who can offer advice and support.
Your finances will impact your choices moving forward so take time to consider the money you have access to right away and what you will have incoming on a regular basis. Speak to your bankand ask how they can help you. Charities may also be able to offer support. It can be scary if you are leaving a situation where you were financially secure and heading into unchartered waters, but remember this is the first step and, over time, you will be able to gain independence through employment, updating any insurance policies and building up a credit score.
Once you have dealt with the initial practicalities, your thoughts may move to taking legal action. Compassionate, calm legal attorneys will help you get the compensation you deserve so you can start the next chapter of your life.Choosing a specialist domestic abuse lawyer can ensure you get what you are entitled to.
It is normal to experience a range of emotions after leaving an abusive relationship. Worry, sadness, joy, fear, and uncertainty are all perfectly acceptable feelings. Know that you have taken the first and hardest step by leaving and that as you move forward things will get better. You are strong. You are empowered. You are not alone.