#whyistayed #whyileft #smartleave
I heard Dr. Phil say today he didn’t want all this talk about ‘how the woman shouldn’t take it and leave’ to spur abused women trapped in a domestic violent situation to leave abruptly and put themselves and their children in mortal danger. Studies show the most dangerous time for an abused & trapped woman and her children is when she decides it’s time to leave and shortly afterwards. The abuser usually panics and sees they’re losing control. Things usually escalate or get worse.
I agree; the hotline for domestic violence has tips to leave safely, if you find yourself in a violent relationship. Because God delivered me from an abusive relationship years ago. He gave me a strategy. Back then, I didn’t know it was God. For a long time, I just said it was a little voice that told me what to do.
- Set up a plan to leave. Decide where you’re going to go. Yes, you can do it. God will help you. Save money. Hide it somewhere no one will find it. Even if it’s a few dollars at a time.
- Make ready. Pack an emergency bag and/or slowly take things to a safe place.
- Act like everything’s the same. If you’ve been depressed. Keep acting depressed. Try to keep the same routine. Avoid any confrontations, if possible.
- Reach out to someone you can trust. Someone understanding, someone you can call in an emergency. Someone non-judging and will show up in a moment’s notice.
- Tell no one. Or at least as few people as possible. I gave up on trying to get people to understand why I hadn’t left yet. Keep it a secret. It’s a losing battle that you shouldn’t be engaged in right now. Besides, maybe you should have left already. But it’s your decision, the when. When you can make that decision, make it and leave on your terms.
I told my story not long ago in one of my WOW Women classes; I called it ‘Play Down’ in a companion teaching series to the WOW Women of Worth book http://wowontheweb.com
I received that strategy to leave in one of the most unlikely of times. I had just flown across the room and out into the hallway from a punch to my chest. I slid across the floor and hit my head against the concrete floor. A big knot immediately rose on the right side of my head. I didn’t make it to the hospital that evening. I am healed and whole from that hurtful season but I do still have an indentation in my skull on that side.
Anyway, earlier that day I remember having it in my mind if I was hit again (one more time) I would not take it. Someone would be going down. Well it did escalate to blows that evening and someone did go down; it was me.
Just as I was about to jump up and respond with the same. That little voice interrupted me and said, “Play down. Don’t get up and fight. Play down.” Without thinking about it, I listened and played down. A few minutes later, with no response from me the situation was defused.
I was thrown into a dark room to think about my wrongs. While in there, that same small voice gave me the strategy. The same words I gave you in the S.M.A.R.T. Leave acronym above. My plan included getting a job in another state. I was instructed to keep everything the same but to secretly plan my escape. “Get a job in another state, appeal to his ego; tell him if he helped you, you would help him,” said the inner voice.
I know this may sound a little crazy to some. But if you’ve ever been in a desperate difficult dangerous situation it may not sound that strange. Perhaps the still small voice has been instructing you too. If so, it’s time you believed and listened. Those instructions are probably tailored to you.
So again, I followed the instructions of the small voice. It worked. Several times I almost gave it away. In anger, I almost burst out with my plans out of spite. I swallowed it back. Another time, in the midst of an unexpected confrontation, I almost threw it all to the wind and executed my plans prematurely, before I was ready.
But I didn’t; I stuck with the plan all the way out and was successful. I moved 600 miles away with a new job and never looked back…I know my individual plan won’t work for everyone; I had no children. But the general S.M.A.R.T. Leave plan will work for anyone trapped and in distress.
So, if you’re trapped or just tired of an abusive relationship leave S.M.A.R.T. Or if you know someone that needs this, please share it.
WOW Women Global
Find domestic violence shelters in your area at https://www.domesticshelters.org/
and for shelters around the world: http://www.hotpeachpages.net/
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