This viral "escape guide" shared on Facebook for victims of domestic violence might help you or a loved one
According to Daily Mail, this is exactly what a woman known by her Facebook name, Maddie, decided to do in a detailed step-by-step guide on how to plan and execute your escape from an abusive partner/marriage. The post has since gone viral.
With the rise in number of domestic abuse cases that are reported, we can see why this is necessary now more than ever.
At the beginning of this year, journalist and radio host Chriselda Lewis, shared in a heartbreaking Facebook post how her husband of three years had hit her. In the post she also detailed some of the thought processes and actions she took after the incident.
“Yes, yesterday on 21 January 2019, my husband raised his hand on me and beat me... With the work that I do, in part advocating for women in abusive relationships and having previously lived through abuse, I know that it’s a beginning with no end. His hit today was one too many,” she wrote in her statement.
Often, women are pressured and judged regardless of whether they stay in or leave an abusive relationship. While Criselda didn’t comment on her decision in this regard she says she hopes for “rehabilitation and corrective counselling” for her husband, although she laid a charge with the police. She did note that she knows from her work that if she stays, it won't be the last.
Not long thereafter, SA was again left appalled after a video of musician Mampintsha viciously beating his then girlfriend Bongekile "Babes" Wodumo started circulating on social media.
With legal structures in place and a number of NGOs that help combat violence against women, South Africa still sits with a huge problem of domestic violence against women.
Which is why I thought sharing this woman's incredibly helpful tips for escaping the home of an abuser.
She starts her guide by advising you how to deal with finances, opening a second bank account, hiding the cards and reporting old credit cards stolen are among her advice. She then advises the victim to get a second phone.
Thereafter she tells victims to start moving their belongings slowly to a friend or relative.
She also offers some advice for what you should tell your boss at work. She suggests you explain fully that you are planning an escape.
Maddie then encourages the victim to sort out their living arrangements before they leave. She suggests finding homes for women and children or organising with a friend or relative.
Thereafter, Maddie says you should contact the police and let them know your plan should something go wrong. She also says if you have kids you should let their school know that you will be fetching them early, and if possible, get a relative or friend to pick them up.
Next, Maddie explains that you should plan your escape day by choosing a day that the abuser would be gone for more than a couple of hours. She also says you should be "nicer" to your abuser in the days leading to the escape.
Maddie then gives some packing advice.
And finally advice for when you leave.
Lastly, Maddie shares advice for once you are finally out of the house in which you endured abuse.
When someone is experiencing abuse in their relationship and comes to you for support, Mara, The founder of Tears Foundation suggests the following phrases to use:
“I’m here for you”
“I believe you”
“You’re not alone”
“How can I help you?”
READ MORE: "Get out or die" - meet the woman who travels around the world to help victims of domestic abuse
Phrases to avoid would include the following
“Why did you stay?”
“What were you wearing?”
“What did you do to make them angry?”
If you are someone you know needs help, you can contact one of the organisations below:
Gender-based violence Command Centre: “Please call me” facility: *120*7867#
Emergency line: 0800 428 428
POWA helpline: 0116424345
Tears Foundation helpline: *134*7355# Or visit them by find the nearest offices here: tears.storefind.mobi.
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