Preparing to leave an abusive relationship

Learn how to safely leave an abusive relationship. Get tips on security, legal advice, and finding safe accommodations. Contact us for expert help and support.

What do I need to consider when I’m preparing to leave an abusive relationship?

The first thing you need to keep in mind when preparing to leave an abusive relationship is keeping you and your dependents safe. This might mean that you need to wait until the abuser is out of the house for you to organise the belongings you want to take with you and not telling the abuser you are leaving until you actually have left the house.

What should I be careful of?

Be aware though, that if you choose to leave the house, the abuser may decide the change the locks to the house, even if you are renting, so you may not be able to go back to collect any further possessions unless you obtain a return to property order from the court and you may still be obliged to pay rent until you address that via your Real Estate Agent.

What if I haven’t yet made a complaint regarding the domestic violence?

If you are planning on leaving the relationship prior to making a complaint, it is also worth noting the other person is still going to have your phone number and is linked to you on your social media accounts, so once you leave, that person may still try to contact you. Even if you block that person’s phone number, if that person does not display the phone number, or calls from a public phone (which also now offer free texts as well as phone calls) those calls and texts will come through to your phone. Ensure you are no longer sharing your location on Google Maps, Find Friends (iPhone) or on Snapchat or any other social media app. You may want to consider consulting with an e-security expert to ensure your abuser is not able to track or monitor your online activity or your location.

Where can I go after I leave?

It is key to have somewhere you can go organised before you leave the house. You may want to start moving small amounts of your property to family or friends before you leave the house if that is an option available to you. If friends or family are not an option, there are Domestic Violence shelters available for both male and female victims of domestic violence, that you may be able to access. Even if you have crisis accommodation available to you on your escape from the abusive relationship consider contacting the support agencies before you actually leave the abuser, as you will be stressed, and it is helpful to have processes already started when you do escape.
You may also want to consider seeking financial assistance from Centrelink and contacting a service like DV Connect which is a Queensland based organisation.
We make Family law matters crystal clear
If you are seeking legal advice about leaving the relationship, you can schedule an appointment with our domestic violence specialist (QLD) for $250 on 07 2113 4645.
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