Tips for Protecting Yourself When You Need to Leave an Abusive Relationship

One of the most challenging things you can face at the end of a relationship is getting out safely when your partner is abusive. You may be at a greater risk as soon as you leave. There are several important steps you can take to protect yourself, as well as any children, when you need to leave an abusive relationship in Arizona. This is often referred to as a “Plan for Safety.”

Leaving Puts You in a High-Risk State

Statistics back up the fact that the most dangerous time for an abused partner is when they choose to leave the relationship. This means that you need to find housing that will protect you during this critical time. A hotel, the home of a friend that the abuser doesn’t know, or a domestic violence shelter are a few of the examples you should consider. Do not go to your best friend’s house or your parent’s house or anywhere else that the abuser is likely to start looking for you.

Tips for Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is one of the most important strategies you can use in this situation. Start setting aside money somewhere other than your house, and give important items and some clothes to a friend in case you need to leave your house quickly. Where possible, document all instances of emotional or physical abuse in the household. Whether it involves just your children or you as well. Keep notes of the time and the date that the incident occurred.

Memorize the phone numbers of individuals who you could reach out to for help in an emergency situation. Keep your important documents, such as birth certificates and Social Security cards, as well as  credit cards and your cash, somewhere safe so that you can leave quickly if necessary. Having a safety plan and talking it over with one of your friends may be essential for getting out as quickly as possible. In many cases, you may not be able to determine the day or hour that you will leave, so you need to be prepared for the possibility of making this decision quickly.

Having your materials in order and having a clear safety plan and way to communicate to a friend that you are safe is crucial during this challenging time. Reach out for help from a knowledgeable Arizona family lawyer if you have concerns about how domestic violence could impact your divorce or child custody.

Protective and Emergency Orders

It  may also be necessary to protect yourself and/or your children through the use of an Order of Protection or Emergency Temporary Order.  Please see our written and video blogs on these topics for additional information.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Tips for Protecting Yourself When Leaving an Abusive Relationship, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Lindsay A.M. Olivarez at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.