There are several stages of abuse and depending upon which stage a you are in, you will need different forms of help. The links below will provide information about each stage as well as contact information for resources in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. By clicking on the statements below, you will find resources to help you decide what to do next.
- I think my partner may be abusing me, but I'm not sure.
- I know my partner is abusing me but I'm not sure what to do next.
- I think I want to leave my partner but I'm not sure how.
- I think I am in danger and I need to leave NOW.
I would like to leave my partner and I want to plan it out.
If you have not already, you should develop a plan for when and how to leave and where to go after you leave. It may take some time to complete the steps of the plan so start early in case you find yourself needing to leave in a hurry.
- First you must think of a space in your home that is easy for you to get to but somewhere your partner rarely or never looks.
- Then gather the following documents and put them in this place without your partner noticing: your birth certificate, the birth certificates of your children, any other identification not used on a daily basis such as a passport. Make sure you know where your driver's license or state identification card is if you cannot store it with the other items, as well as pictures of any bruises on you or your children in case you decide to press charges.
- You should also add other items to this collection as time permits: any cash you can manage to save, any medications for yourself or your children, any other small items that are particularly important to you. However, if you think your partner is likely to notice any of these items are gone, DO NOT MOVE THEM. Try to make sure you know where they are located so that you can retrieve them when you have a chance. Again, make sure you place all of these items in a safe, but easy to get to, place so that you can grab them in a hurry when you leave.
- Think of a place you can go where you will be safe. Try to think of at least 4 possible places in case your first choice does not work out: Is your family willing to help? Can they protect you if your partner looks for you and becomes very violent? Do you have friends who will help you? A homeless shelter is also an option; while this may not be the best option, it is better than no option. If you find yourself leaving in a hurry before you finish making your plan, homeless shelters will provide you with a place to stay for a night if they have space. The link below will give you the addresses of local homeless shelters. If you have no family or friends, or none who are willing to help, or if you think your partner is very violent and would look for you in order to hurt you, you should go to a women's shelter. Women's shelters will provide you and your children with a safe and secret place to stay until you can get back on your feet and provide for yourself. You can find a list of local shelters by clicking the link below.
- Next, think of a time to leave: Think of a time when your partner will be at work or somewhere else so that you can leave without him knowing. The more time you have to get to where you want to go, the better. Also, try to pick a time when your partner will not notice your absence for at least a few hours.
- If you have developed your plan, or part of your plan, and find yourself in life-threatening violent situation, grab your stuff and leave. Simply go through with your plan early. The most important thing is your safety. Even if you do not have a plan, if you have none of the items listed above, if you can escape the immediate danger of a violent situation, you should leave.
Click here for resources that can help you plan out how to leave your partner.
- I have left my partner but I still need help.