1. Recognise Abuse
Step one to leaving an abusive relationship is to recognise the abuse and identify which abuse is in your relationship.
Step back for a moment to identify the form of abuse.
Normally the word abuse automatically refers physical abuse, but it can be so much more than that.
2. Realise you are NOT at fault
Abuse is never the victim’s fault and coming to this realisation is the key to getting out of an abusive situation.
Most people resist change until they become very uncomfortable in their present condition.
The victim of abuse must stop making excuses for the abuser.
3. Document everything
Documenting abuse is vital in a marriage, especially when children are involved, as that evidence will aid you later to ensure adequate protection.
One can keep a dated journal that describes what happens and when.
One can also record audio and videos as evidence, or keep messages.
If physically abused, take photos and seek medical attention for bruises, cuts or other visible manifestations.
4. Pack an emergency bag
One needs to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
Pack an emergency overnight bag that contains clothing, toiletries, money, any medication you may need and copies of keys.
You may also wish to keep a folder of your legal documentation, such as your birth certificate and identity card.
Hide this bag somewhere it will not be found by the abuser.
5. Set money aside
This is important if you are unemployed, or don’t have much work experience or the abuser controls the finances.
Abusive relationships inevitably end and one does not want to be left without anything.
If the abuser tightly controls finances, save a small amount each week anyway.