Do You Know the Six Important Steps to Escape Abuse?

Do you know the six important steps to escape abuse? How to find your way out is the focus of this post. It concludes a nine-week series focusing on seven abuse types. I wrote this series to create a permanent resource for anyone in need. I focused only on the abuse forms that personally impacted my life. And yet, this heinous crime shows its ugly head in many other ways. Simply put, anytime one person devalues another in any way, shape, or form, that is abuse.

Sharing my story encourages others to share theirs. Anytime we bring something to the light, growth and healing occur. However, take caution when you share. Be certain you do so with the right intention. Are you sharing to clarify a situation that traps you? Is giving understanding to others caught in abuse why you share? Do you aim to provide aid to those in need? All these reasons are admirable. If this is your intent, I encourage you to continue.

On the other hand, are you sharing to wallow in sorrow and gain sympathy? Sharing for this purpose not only does no good, but it tightens the grip an abuser holds on their victim. When you share, make sure your purpose benefits both you and the other person. Don’t add to the problem by sharing simply for attention’s sake.

People remain in abuse situations for years and even decades, as I did, for many reasons. A critical one is often when the victim acts to leave, the seriousness of their situation increases. Escaping an abuser is in no way an easy task. Due to this fact, I am providing a list of steps to escape safely.

Step One

This step relates to Galatians 5:14, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” However, many victims love their neighbors while excluding themselves. I did this. Being a victim erodes away their self-esteem, making it impossible to maintain self-love. But God holds the same amount of love for every one of His children. Our Savior created us all with equal value. Love yourself as you love your neighbor. Regaining self-worth is a critical first step. One every victim must take to gain the courage to escape.

People who love themselves in the way God intended treat themselves respectfully. In fact, the literal meaning of respect is to look again. Therefore take a second look at yourself. Are you living a life that honors the valuable person God created you to be? Confidence results from self-love and respect.

Step Two

Put into words the abusive experiences you suffered. This step may sound simple, but it can be challenging, especially when the abuser gaslights. Even after I escaped, I instinctively felt the abuse within my household, yet I could not find words to explain it. As a result, it took multiple years of therapy to help me past this obstacle. Furthermore, abuse cannot happen without codependency. Because of this, I suggest joining a CoDA group. You can do so by contacting https://coda.org.

Vocalizing what is occurring gives the victim validation. Indeed a journal can help you with this. As you write things down, be your own advocate. Love yourself as you love your neighbor. Don’t talk yourself out of escaping or justify your abuser’s actions. In short, use this tool to build clarity and strength to escape.

Step Three

Your partner will not change. During my twenty-six years with my ex, I saw many troubling traits. People brought to my attention other undesirable attributes. But no one is all bad, just like no one is one hundred percent good. We all are a blend of both.

I spent over two decades focusing on the good within my ex while making excuses for the bad. I falsely believed if I loved enough, he would change. We cannot change our abuser any more than we can control another person’s actions. Once you accept the truth of your relationship, allow time to grieve. Realizing you did not have the fairytale you believed you did is a form of death.

Step Four

Create an exit plan. In fact, expert help like the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233 can help you with this. They are available 24/7 to provide immediate support and advice. Furthermore, you can contact them through their website at https://www.thehotline.org or by texting “START” to 88788.

Additionally, as part of your exit plan, remember to address legal details. People at the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you through this critical step. Keep your plans private. Never threaten to leave or get a restraining order. An abuser will use any information they can against you.

Erase any evidence of your intentions, including emails and web history browsers. When talking to a friend or advocate, make sure your abuser is not aware. It may be safest to use someone else’s phone. Consider hiring someone to check for phone tapping or a GPS tracker on your car. Remember, an abuser will do anything to maintain control of their victim.

Collect all important documents such as birth and marriage certificates and banking cards. This includes your children’s birth certificates and possibly medical records. Place them somewhere safe where your partner cannot find them. Or ask a trusted friend to hold them for you. Never underestimate your abuser’s ability. I took this step when my ex was away from the house, yet somehow, he knew. Do everything possible to cover your tracks.

Step Five

Professional help through a therapist and lawyer can be highly beneficial. The therapist can guide you through the many emotional issues that will arise. A lawyer can counteract false threats your abuse may make in their attempt to keep you captive. Shelters often provide such services. You can find a shelter near you at DomesticShelters.org, or call Safe Horizon at 1-800-621-HOPE. As part of your escape plan, know where you are going.

If your partner changes their behavior, do not trust it. Often, abusers will sense when their partner is planning to leave. An abuser will throw out kindness and apologies to convince their victim that they have changed. However, it is all an act. They attempt to change your reality, not themselves. Don’t buy into their deception. A pattern exists within abusive behaviors. This season of kindness is a part of that pattern.

Step Six

Things often become more dangerous around the time a victim makes escape plans. Be alert as to when to call the police. Or you can give a trusted friend or relative a safe word. When they hear that safe word, they will know to call authorities. Within your house, consider where you can lock yourself in, away from your partner, while you make that call for help.

Be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice when a safe opportunity presents itself. Once you escape, do not disclose where you are. If your abuser shows up, call 911. Leave no forwarding address or any other clues. Next, if your situation allows, file a restraining order. And by all means, stop all communications with your abuser. A seasoned abuser feeds on interactions with their victim. Your goal is to move on and build a better life. You cannot find that freedom while remaining in touch with your abuser.

Abuse is never the victim’s fault. Everyone deserves to live a life free from abuse. Hardships litter the journey toward freedom, but it is well worth the labor. Take courage. Scale each stumbling block. Break those chains of abuse and set yourself free.

To see more Crystalisms, go to  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1360983917796761.

You can report any form of abuse to your local police or by dialing 911.  

Resources

Here are resources I’ve posted throughout this series and more.

For child abuse, contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.

For Sexual abuse, contact the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. 

To gain immediate assistance, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at https://www.thehotline.org  (800-799-7233) or text “START” to 88788.

For financial abuse, contact https://www.annuity.org/financial-literacy/financial-abuse/, https://www.pcadv.org/financial-abuse/

You can find a guide on financial literacy for women at https://www.annuity.org/financial-literacy/women/

DomesticShelters.org and safehorizon.org 1-800-621-HOPE will provide shelter, counseling, and legal assistance.

loveisrespect.org, National Network to End Domestic Violence

https://coda.org

Note To My Readers

I pray this series adequately informs all who read it and hunger for such vital help. Also, I pray that what I have provided gives courage to those in need. I welcome questions and comments on any of my blogs. To do so, go to CONTACT THE AUTHOR – Crystal MM Huntley. I hope to inspire you to move forth in your healing journey.

Hopefully, you have gained value from this blog post. If you have, I would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase my book, The Hidden DiamondBUY THE BOOK – Crystal MM Huntley, and support my mission to break the chains of abuse.

The Hidden Diamond – Immerse yourself in a journey that uncovers the worth of a wounded soul amongst a lifetime of sin.

A Different Light Alexandra Another Reason to Forgive Back to My Story Boundaries Direct Forms of Religious Abuse Domestic Abuse Defined Emotional Abuse – an Umbrella Term Faith Shattered Forgiveness Does Not Mean to Forget. Free Giveaway From Robin’s Gift Grace Hope Invite Long-term Effects My Fight for You My Solution My Story Note To My Readers Perfection’s Curse Resources Robin’s Gift Robin’s Gift – A Sneak Peak Seeking Help Step Five Step Four Step One Step Six Step Three Step Two Take the Challenge The Hidden Diamond The Root Meaning of Sin The Scars of Abuse To Find Help To My Readers Two Other Forms of Legal Abuse Unveiling the Hidden Crime Upcoming Posts What Is Legal Abuse? Why Do I Forgive? Why I Share Why I Write You Are Worthy!

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