I know that it has been forever since I have blogged. Truth is, I have been trying to put some things in place for women who are in situations that involve domestic violence and mental abuse. Not only am I working for women...but young women as well. After the Maleah Davis case and the police finding her, I thought to myself "what could have been done to prevent this?"
In so many situations mothers have been victims of some form of domestic violence and/or mental abuse. I can't say that was the case with Brittany Bowens, but there had to be something in her life that led her to being neglectful to her children. I do believe that Brittany has gone through something traumatic in her life. I do believe that she has suffered some form of mental or physical abuse...and maybe even both.
Most times, the hardest thing to do is to...LEAVE!!! I know all too well what that feels like. Before writing my book "I Testify" I had been through various situations and relationships that I refused to walk away from. One particular relationship that almost led to my murder. The one thing I recall was how emotionally abusive this man was to me every chance that he got. He had a way with words, although he wasn't that educated...he knew exactly how to cut me without using a knife. Besides those harsh worse, the physical abuse was more than enough for any woman to handle. Although I survived his attacks and we no longer communicated when I finally decided to leave...I still battled with what was going on in my head. I carried that baggage into relationships that followed, and those relationships would fail because I refused to let go of who I assumed every man after would be.
Escaping any form of abuse is the hardest thing to do, especially when you have a soul tie, children with the person and that person has power over you and your mind. There are so many ways to let go...but you have to be willing to leave and move one.
I am working on putting together a program that will help women escape physical and mentally abusive relationships...in the meantime take a look at a few steps below to help you leave. Love ya'll xo
7 Steps to Leaving an Abusive Relationship Safely
1. Get help from a domestic abuse expert. "Talk with a professional who can help you develop a safety plan," advises Murray, who is also a member of the American Counseling Association. "Make sure they're a ... domestic violence advocate or mental health professional trained to work with clients affected by domestic violence. Not all therapists have that training."
2. Make the right safety plan for you. "The plan for leaving an abusive relationship is very unique to each person's situation," Murray says. "This is because the dynamics of the abuse and the type of perpetrator can vary. You could have a perpetrator who doesn't care when you leave. Or you could have someone who turns to stalking when you leave." There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so be careful and calculated in how you decide to handle your own situation.
3. Talk about all possible safety risks. "The most dangerous time for many women is right after they leave," Murray says. "Leaving can escalate the violence, so it's important to think through all the possible safety risks. Where are you vulnerable? At work, home, a shelter, a friend's house? What can you do to address those vulnerabilities?"
4. Get professional help in applying for a restraining order. "Have a professional walk you through the process of getting a protection order," warns Murray. "Rules can be different depending on what state or county you live in." Applications can get denied if they're not filled in correctly, and Murray has seen too many rejected for simple mistakes that could have been avoided. She also recommends making sure your order sets clear consequences for various circumstances that might come up, like when your abuser tries to contact you.
5. Do as much advance planning as possible. If you know you're in danger, even if you're not sure you want to leave, Murray suggests you "take proactive precautions ahead of time. This could include setting up a code word with your neighbor or asking them to always call the police if they hear screaming coming from your home." That way, when you're in a crisis situation, you have a plan in place to make decisions quickly and safely.
6. Put together an emergency bag so you'll have the necessary supplies if you need to make a quick escape. "This bag could have clothing, cash, copies of important documents, and prescriptions," Murray says. "Store the bag somewhere safe, such as at a friend's house or in the trunk of your car, if you think it's safe from your abuser."
7. Above all else, think about safety. "What's the safest way you can get out?" Murray says women should ask themselves. "What is the best thing I can do for my safety and for my kids' safety? View everything through that lens -- there's nothing more important than your and your kids' safety."
Deciding to leave is a big leap. You may not even be there yet ... you might just thinking about it. Even if you haven't decided to walk away, you can help yourself now by planning your escape just in case. You never know if things will escalate and you really will need that plan.
For help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. You can also consult these resources for victims of domestic violence. Learn more and hear real women's stories at SeeTheTriumph.com.