Domestic Violence Resource Center Ocean and Monmouth County NJ
Exiting a violent relationship and abusive living conditions – whether that abuse is physical, mental, emotional, sexual, or financial – is a precarious process.
In addition to the courage, it requires taking steps towards exiting a relationship of domestic abuse. The process of leaving requires great care and tact to ensure that you and your children stay secure until you are safely in a new living situation.
Our firm is committed to ensuring that you have all of the support you need to develop an exit safety plan, including helping you to file a temporary restraining order. If you are in an abusive relationship and need help getting out, read on to learn more about how you can safely prepare for your exit equipped with the tools, community, and legal supports you need to reclaim your right to feel safe and free.
What is a safety plan in a Domestic Abuse situation?
A safety plan is a personalized approach to exiting a dangerous living situation. It includes practical tools for the before, during, and after your exit, including ways to healthily deal with the abuse’s difficult emotions and the secret transition. It also provides information about how and how much to tell your friends and family about the abuse before and after your transition out of the abusive home and how to take the legal steps necessary to ensure that you are safe and protected legally throughout the entire process.
A domestic violence helpline trains its counselors in providing the resources, support, and guidance to develop an exit safety plan. In addition to providing information, the counselor will coach the victim by developing multiple scenarios for safe navigation of the exit in the case of unexpected difficulties.
A hotline’s trained counselor will help you consider important details of the exit, such as
- How to prepare financially
- What documents you need to have on hand and ready to go
- What to pack in your travel bag, including documentation
- What phone numbers to have available
- Where to go directly following your exit
- How to keep your children safe and ready
- How to make sure your pets exit safely
- Who to involve in the process of planning and executing your exit, and how much
The important thing to keep in mind while creating a domestic violence exit safety plan is that the more detail it considers, the better. While some aspects of your escape may seem obvious, during the actual moments of implementation, your body will very likely be under the influence of a heightened stress response, and you won’t be able to think as clearly as when you are calm. As such, having at-a-glance information prepped for yourself will go a long way in mitigating any stress that isn’t necessary.
Contact a New Jersey or National Domestic Violence Hotline to begin to formulate your exit safety plan. The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-572-SAFE (1-800-572-7233). The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.
How to support a loved one you believe is a victim of domestic violence
Hotlines don’t only do this thought- and resource-partnering with abuse victims; they also work with the victims’ loved ones to determine how best to support the process. If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of domestic violence, noticing such signs as
- unexplained marks on your loved one’s body
- consistent absence from gatherings
- continuous excuse-making for the partner’s behavior
- stress or anxiety that is consistent or at the mention of the partner
- witnessing verbal abuse by the partner
- observing extreme jealousy by the partner
Contact a domestic violence hotline to speak with a trained counselor who can provide tips and support tools.
If your loved one is at the beginning or advanced stages of exiting an abusive relationship or has already left, your support matters deeply. Be non-judgmental and lend a listening ear as they process their experience. They are displaying great courage in the face of a difficult and dangerous situation. While it will help offer any resources you have gathered through your own research, the most important role you can play is that of an unconditionally supportive friend. Please encourage them to participate in community gatherings, so they feel part of larger networks of support, as well.
Experiencing Domestic Abuse and Neglect in your home? Allow our Monmouth and Ocean County Attorneys to serve as a resource to you and your loved ones
To schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our firm today regarding your abusive living situation, please call (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation.