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What to include in your domestic violence escape plan

You may have felt trapped in your abusive marriage for years, but now you are ready to get away and start your life over. However, leaving an abusive spouse is rarely easy, and it may even be dangerous. It is crucial for you and other Tennessee residents to understand how to get away from an abuser as safely as possible.

Domestic violence may have been a part of your life for so long that it can be difficult to find the courage to escape. Your self-esteem and confidence may have been eroded to the point where you feel like you cannot make it on your own, yet you are not willing to live like this anymore. Additionally, your own physical safety, as well as your children’s, may be at stake. The National Domestic Violence Hotline advises victims of abuse to make an escape plan before they leave. This can help you organize the important documents and belongings you will need to take with you, as well as the steps to get away from your abuser safely.

Your escape plan may include the following:

  • A stash of emergency cash, clothing, personal belongings and paperwork that you should store in a safe place your abuser does not know about
  • The phone numbers and locations of emergency shelters and police stations, which ideally you should memorize
  • Evidence of abuse, such as photographs of injuries, medical records and screenshots of threatening text messages and emails
  • A group of allies you can trust to support you through this difficult time, including family members, friends, counselors and law enforcement officers

When you are ready to make your escape, it might be a good idea to seek a protective order against your abuser. This is not necessarily a guarantee of safety, but will restrict your abuser from contacting or going near you while it is in effect. Accused abusers may face criminal consequences for violating a protective order. It is also important to seek counsel from a family law attorney with experience in domestic violence cases.

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The Law Office of Robert M. Asbury
5731 Lyons View Pike
Suite 206
Knoxville, TN 37919

Phone: 865-909-7290
Fax: 865-909-9886
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