Exit Strategy by #68716 .....
Date: 4/18/2011 2:46:47 PM ( 11 y ago)
My posts go back and forth without any specific timeline, I know. As things occur to me, I'm compelled to share my personal experiences, and the experiences that I've been witness to so that others may learn and Survive. Proper planning and execution of an "exit strategy" is crucial, and the most perilous event for a victim.
Simply running for it has been successful, but it's not recommended, especially if there are children involved. Setting details in order PRIOR to the exit should involve a safety network, and absolute secrecy - ir is imperative that friends, family, and children are NOT involved simply because "friends" may leak information in a misdirected effort to "help" mend the relationship, again, especially when children are involved. Family should not be aware of the exit because they likely are not aware of how bad the situation really is, and may be subject to the wrath of the abuser once he's discovered that his property has gone missing. Children should never, ever, EVER be forewarned of an exit or be involved in ANY preparations - an abuser WILL get information from a child by any means, and it is inappropriate to expect a child to keep a secret of such magnitude, or lie about something so dire.
Local abuse shelters and abuse hotlines will help victims to formulate an exit strategy that should be both safe and legal. Often, they can provide pro bono legal resources to protect victims, but it is imperative - A MUST - to be aware that a legal Order of Protection / Restraining Order is only a piece of paper. If you plan to leave, harden yourself to understand that the abuser will say and DO anything - and, I mean ANYTHING - to maintain ownership of his property, even destroy it via murder. NO CONTACT means exactly that: change cell number, block abuser's calls, do not respond to text messages, social network posts, messages sent via "friends," etc. NO CONTACT!
"Your Honor, I'll get counseling," was said in Court by an abuser who later shot his estranged girlfriend, and mother of his child, in the face in front of their child and then turned the gun on himself. Abusers are liars from the gate - they have no intention of engaging in anything other than getting their property back, or destroying it, entirely. If there is any question in the victim's mind that they will never return to their abuser, then they should visit their local abuse shelter and talk to the victims who have returned to their abusers again, and again. I cannot emphasize this enough: the abuser will never get help, will never change, and will only work harder to make sure that their property doesn't go wandering, again.
If the exit is to be sudden, for crissakes, forget about Things and Stuff! Material things can be replaced, in due time. Take only those things that are absolutely necessary: birth certificate(s), marriage license, documentation log, any financial documents, medical records / supply of medications, etc. If there is a joint banking account, your attorney MAY advise that the victim liquidates the account. If there are credit accounts with the victim's name on them, the institutions/companies should be contacted and instructed NOT to disclose ANY information to anyone, no matter who's asking. Credit card accounts should be closed and NOT used after the exit. The victim may want to have their mail forwarded to their attorney's office OR a post office box in a nearby town, depending upon the advice of the professionals. The victim should be engaged in counseling after the exit, at the very least, and hopefully before the exit. Counseling is not only helpful in the healing process, but will also be priceless during any Court-related proceedings. Do NOT disclose physical location to anyone, especially if the abuser is physically violent, has a restraining order, owns weapons, and/or has made ANY type of threat of violence, whether it was direct or indirect.
The most important thing to remember prior to the exit is to avoid threatening to leave or divorce! Don't give the abuser anything that they can use to crush their victim! Let the attorney deliver the demand for a divorce or separation - that's what they are paid to do, so let them earn their salaries. NO CONTACT with the abuser also means having the Court arrange any visitation exchange of children.
So....there's a whole lot more on this topic and I'll post more in a bit.
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