There are a number of barriers preventing victims from leaving dangerous and abusive relationships.

For many victims, they are in the most dangerous and vulnerable position when an abusive relationship ends. An abuser’s actions may intensify due to a loss of control, leading to stalking, harassment, threats, and attempts to control the victim after their escape. Social expectations, fear of escalated violence, self-blame, religion, and a lack of financial or emotional support can all create barriers for victims to leave abusive situations.

If this reflects your situation, know that you are not alone and that you’ve done nothing wrong. Bringing an end to an abusive relationship is not a matter of the victim choosing to leave. Rather, it is a matter of the victim being able to safely escape their abuser and/or the abuser being held accountable by law enforcement and the courts for their actions.

• Tech safety

Simply searching for resources online can be a risk for many victims, so it’s important to know how to stay safe. If you believe your online activity is being monitored, there is a strong chance it probably is. It is not possible to delete or clear all activity and it may be dangerous to use a computer or delete your browsing history if it is not your usual activity. If possible, use a secure computer (like at a public library) to create an escape plan, look for an apartment, buy bus or airline tickets, or ask for help.

Also, know that using email or text messaging is not a secure method for talking to someone about the danger or abuse in your life. Call a hotline if you can to speak with someone directly.

Learn More about Domestic Violence and patterns to watch.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used by someone to establish and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. This abusive behavior may include physical, emotional, economic, or sexual abuse.

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There are a number of barriers preventing victims from leaving dangerous and abusive relationships.

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Victims of domestic violence need support from loving family, friends, and community leaders.

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