Leaving an abusive relationship is a time of great change. It can feel like an escape, as though you are finally free. It can also be overwhelming, and you may feel particularly vulnerable or unsure of what your future holds. Here are some tips that may be helpful as you start the next chapter of your life.
Go to the Police
When you have left an unsafe domestic situation because of abuse, it is important to report the situation to the police. Domestic abuse and domestic violence are priorities for the police as a matter of public safety. By reporting the incident to the police, you are not only protecting yourself, but you could also be protecting others. You may worry about reporting the incident or incidents, but the police are professionals who have your best interests at heart. If you have a friend or relative you can trust, take them with you for moral support. Your safety is paramount, and by going to the police, you know the law will protect you.
When you leave an abusive relationship there are practical changes that need to be made. Perhaps you are staying with friends or family, or you are in a hostel, and you wonder where you will live long term. Maybe you have financial concerns or are anxious about your safety. Thankfully there are charities who can offer support and advice to ensure you get all the help you need as well as experienced domestic abuse lawyers such as Romanucci and Blandin. Domestic abuse attorneys will be aware you could feel vulnerable and be sensitive to that, ensuring you are fully supported as you get the advice you deserve for your fresh start.
Talk About It
When you leave an abusive relationship there can be a lot to unpack emotionally. There are benefits to talking openly about the abuse, whether that is with a confidant or a professional such as a therapist or counsellor. You may find that there is a sense of release that comes with speaking about your experiences and that it can be a crucial factor in moving on to the next phase in your life. For some people, vocalizing their experience can be distressing as it can feel like reliving a painful experience. If talking about abuse is difficult, expressing your experience creatively can be helpful. This could be through art such as drawing or painting or writing in the form of poetry or a memoir.
Be Kind to Yourself
In the initial days and weeks after leaving you will be running on adrenaline. When this wears off, a feeling of exhaustion or even despair can follow. Treat yourself how you would treat a loved one who has gone through a trauma – be patient and gentle with yourself. There will be difficulties as you travel your path but remember the strength you have already found to leave.
Harness the bravery you have inside you as you take these steps towards a new, happier life.