Leaving an Angry Partner: Strategies for Safe Separation

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Divorce

The most dangerous time for people (especially women) in an abusive relationship is when they make the decision to get out. According to one advocate for domestic violence survivors, “The percent of abused women killed after ending or attempting to end their relationship… increases by 75%.” 

Sometimes, spouses or partners who have been abusive in other ways (for example, verbally or emotionally) turn physically violent and even homicidal when they fear losing the person they believe they control and possess. Leaving a marriage or relationship is a form of rejection, which can cause violent reactions in some people.

If you have a spouse or partner who has been violent in the past or whom you believe won’t react rationally to your decision to end the relationship, it’s crucial to do some planning before you announce your intentions to help ensure a “safe separation.”

It’s typically best when the news isn’t sudden. It’s generally best if you’ve had previous discussions about going your separate ways. Even if you’ve discussed leaving in the past, however, when your partner realizes that this time you aren’t coming back, they could still react violently – towards you or someone you love.

Have a support system in place

Every case is different. However, it’s important to have a support system ready. That means someone to take you and your pets in. Animals too often become pawns in these situations and end up hurt or dead at the hands of an abusive partner. 

If you don’t have family or friends who can do that, make arrangements with a domestic violence shelter. If you have children, you’ll need to ensure their safety. If you intend to keep them away from their other parent, you’ll need to take legal steps to do that.

Getting a protective order may be necessary to protect you, your children and animals and your family or anyone else who’s helping you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop many abusers. That’s why it’s important to get the protection you need. You may need to notify your employer and your child’s school and day care to help prevent your ex from getting close and potentially harming you or them.

As noted, no two circumstances are the same. You know best whom you can count on for support. For example, if the two of you have been seeing a therapist, they may be able to help. It’s also wise to get legal guidance before you make any moves.



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