Leaving an abusive partner can be the most dangerous part of a relationship. If you decide to breakup with an abusive partner or you are supporting someone who is doing so, it is important to think through a plan for how to breakup with the partner in a safe way.
What is a safety plan?
Everyone deserves a relationship that is healthy, safe and supportive. If you or a friend is in an abusive relationship, it is important to think about how to stay safe when ending the relationship. A safety plan is a guide that helps you prepare for potentially dangerous situations and includes a plan that can help keep you safe. A good safety plan helps you think through changes that will help keep you as safe as possible at school, at home and other places that you go on a daily basis.
Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when thinking about breaking up with an abusive partner:
Create a safety plan for during the breakup:
- Talk to the abusive partner in a public space with other people around and have your cell phone with you if you need to call for help.
- Breakup over text or phone if you don't feel safe talking to the abuser in person.
- Explain to the abuser that you are breaking up with them and don't feel obligated to continue to talk to them afterwards. They may be upset about this decision, so it is important to remember why you are breaking up with the abuser and to end the conversation as soon as possible.
- Use the Interactive Guide to Safety Planning from a computer the abusive partner cannot monitor to assist in developing a plan.
Let friends and family know about the plan to ensure safety:
- Tell a friend, family member and/or trusted adult before you breakup with the person. It's important for someone to know where you are during the breakup so they can check on your safety.
After the Breakup:
- Do not let the abuser inside of your house.
- Set your social media accounts to private and block the abuser. Change any passwords that they may know to protect yourself online.
- Avoid going alone to places that you think the abuser may be.
- Know and utilize your safe spaces and resources. Know the safest way to get to and from school, where you will spend your time to feel safe, and who you can go to for support.
Trust yourself: If you feel unsafe at any time, talk to a trusted adult before taking any action.