People who have suffered abuse often live in a constant, paralyzing fear, and because of the bond established between them and the person who’s abused them, leaving the relationship is a challenge. Women especially find it difficult to give up the emotional, financial or other support they have been receiving from their partner and, if they have children together, it becomes even more difficult to make a decision to leave when these questions pop up: where to from here? Where do I go?
No one gets to a place of contemplating leaving a relationship unless things are really bad, and because of the increasing statistics on violence all around the world, many organisations have been established to rescue women and children who’ve been abused and to provide them with the necessary support and guidance they need in order to be restored to a healthy life.
If you are a woman ready to leave an abusive relationship, here are few things that can help you :
1. Secretly save some money: Starting life after an abusive relationship is challenging, you will need some money to help you as you start a new life.
2. Confide in a close family member or friend: find out if they are able to accommodate you or if they know a safe house where you can go. Secretly make plans to move.
3. Get out more and find out what shelters or safe houses are in your city.
4. Once you have identified a place to go and have made all necessary arrangements, leave at an opportune time. Keep a bag ready with your clothes and important documentation in case you need to leave urgently. And when you leave, get help, support and guidance on how to stand on your feet again. Most shelters provide this kind of support.
There are various safe houses in different countries; the key is to find which one is closest to you and to take time to secretly do some research. There is however a well-known organisation based in most African countries called ‘Salvation Army’. You can also visit their website and find out if and where they are in your city – they can provide all the necessary help you need.
Lastly, take a moment to read one of our articles on this issue. It provides some more insight on what to do or who to speak to when leaving an abusive relationship. I highly recommend you listen to the audio interview in that article with Angela from Sisters Inc., an organisation established in South Africa to help women and children who’ve been abused.