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Enough is Enough, Part 6

By Dr. David Clarke, Ph.D

The Big Idea

Your secret plan to leave your abuser.

The Teaching

Here are my steps, in outline form, for getting away from your abuser.  For the detailed plan, get my book:  Enough is Enough(available only on my website).  You take all these steps in secret because if you abuser knows what you are doing, he will do whatever it takes to stop you from leaving him.  It is okay for him to dump you and move away, but not for you to dump him. 

1. Get Spiritually Healthy.  You must have God's help to get away from your abuser.  He will help you with all these steps because He wants you to escape.  Attend church, go to a Bible study, and have daily devotions. 

2. Get a Solid Support Team.  You can't, and won't, escape alone.  You need a small group of trusted supporters:  family, friends, pastor, Christian counselor, attorney.  All of these supporters must be completely in agreement with you leaving.  They will say nothing to your abuser about your plans.  Once you leave, your abuser will figure out who supported you and hate their guts.  So what?  No big loss. 

3. Get Emotionally Healthy.  You must be strong enough emotionally to carry out my escape plan and to actually leave and build your new life.  Work with a Christian counselor to heal from your past wounds, build your confidence and self-esteem, and get ready to leave.  Your abuser will be okay with you seeing a counselor since he believes you have all the problems. 

4. Get Financially Healthy.  It is critically important to be able to support yourself and the kids once you leave.  You will need a war chest of money to finance your escape and get into your new place.  And, you need a job to continue to support yourself.  Once you leave, your abuser will immediately cut you off from all the money.  Get the education and training needed for a job, start a secret savings account and start putting as much money as possible into it, and find out from a family law attorney what amount of money you can legally take just before you leave.

5. Get Your Kids Ready to Leave.  You are not leaving until you are ready and your kids are ready. Have your counselor help you prepare your kids to leave. You will not trash your abuser, but you will tell the kids the truth about the abuse over the years.  

6. Get to a Safe Place.  When ready, you will take your kids and go to your new place.  You may temporarily stay with family or friends for safety.  

These steps are very difficult and will take time.  It could take months, up to a year or more, to leave.  But, you need to leave.  Staying with your abuser will destroy you and your children.  

Next week:  what to do once you have left your abuser.

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