Moving Advice for Domestic Abuse Survivors

Domestic violence has far-fetching effects on victims. The longer one stays in it, the more adverse the effects. That is why you need to move away from your abuser as soon as possible. However, your move should be strategic to prevent you from stirring up any more trouble.

How to get away quickly and safely

It is common to want to move but feeling hesitant as the moving day draws close. Creating a safety plan helps you gain clarity about where you will move to, when, and the items you need to bring. Do not leave any traces of your escape plan anywhere where your abuser can access it.

Before moving, you will need to put some things in order. First of all, ensure you have sufficient money, and all your obligatory insurance covers such as car, health and life insurance are up-to-date. If possible, get a job in the location you will be moving to.

If you do not have enough money, seek monetary help from friends and family members. Find out whether you are eligible for financial support including stipends or benefits from the federal social system.

If you have children, you should be extra careful with the move to avoid anything that could jeopardize their safety. Talk to them in advance about the move and ensure they understand the importance of being discreet about it. Contact your children’s schools after you have already left to let them know of your child’s absentia from school for safety reasons.

Organize your accommodation before you move. You could temporarily move to a close family or friend’s place, a hotel, shelter or rent an apartment as you organize for permanent housing. Have a plan B destination in case your abuser discovers where you are going to and follows you. The best time to pack and leave is when you are home alone. Else, you may need to pack and move items in bits.

Pack an essentials bag containing clothes, important documents (passport, social security card, national ID, driving license, work-related documents, and the kids birth certificate), money, car keys and medication. Ideally, you should pack the originals otherwise make copies of all important documents. Keep documented evidence of the domestic violence.

Staying safe after you leave

Consider applying for address confidentiality if it is allowed in your state to make it difficult for your abuser to find you. Disable your mobile phone and car GPS to make it impossible for your abuser to track you. Also, do not publish posts that obviously indicate your location.

Change your regular phone to an untraceable cell phone. Keep a contact list of the important addresses and telephone numbers. Get in touch with the social security office near you and explain to them that you are a domestic violence victim so that they can change it.

Getting a new home

Depending on financial ability, it may take you a short or long time to be able to buy a home. Determine your home affordability by looking at your annual income, down payment required amount, monthly spending, and current average APR then figure out the right kind of mortgage for you. Remember to factor in the cost of home insurance when planning your finances for the purchase.

Decide the must-have features you are looking for in a house and start house-hunting. Check out house listings online to see if you can find an ideal home. Hiring a real estate agent will come at an extra cost, but it will help you find a suitable home faster. Once you find a house that befits you, put in your offer, review the contract thoroughly and submit your mortgage application.

Even though cutting ties with your abuser is the best thing for you to do for your wellbeing and safety, it is common to feel doubtful about deciding to move. Establishing a support network either with your therapist, family and friends will help you adjust to the new life faster.

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