One survivor commented yesterday on the difficulty of finding the right time to leave her abusive spouse because of her children. When she did leave, 10 years ago already, she was able to move into a women’s shelter and take stock of her life. Now she says with great emotion, “we haven’t looked back.”

The expectation is that the numbers of cases of domestic violence will go up as the stock market numbers go down. Abusers react to such external pressures by lashing out at those around them. Learn what you can do to protect yourself from domestic violence in these stressful times, particularly if you are a Sandwiched Boomer, caring for your growing children and aging parents. Here are two more actions to take to begin the process of strengthening yourself for that day when you will be able to leave.

Prepare to take care of yourself – emotionally, financially and physically. Find a therapist who will help you develop self-confidence and the life skills you may need to go solo. Take charge of your personal finances, open your own bank account, find a job if you are not already employed.

Have an exit strategy and plan what to do if and when you leave the relationship. Investigate available community resources and learn about shelters in your area. Have copies of documents you may need as well as extra clothes and cash; leave them with a friend or neighbor so you can retrieve them later.

Tomorrow we will give you some additional suggestions for how to move through the process of leaving an abusive partner.

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