Trying to leave an abuse relationship is difficult in even the best of circumstances; however, having to provide for your children and keep them safe as you flee isn’t always easy. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to leave an abusive relationship, there are some steps you should take to increase the likelihood that you and your children will remain safe.

There are several things that you can do when you leave. First, make sure that you grab vital documents if you are able to do so safely. These can include your identification, birth certificates, Social Security cards and similar items. Having cash or a way to put your hands on cash can also help. While it might be tempting to just use your debit card or credit card, it is possible that your abuser could track you down using those charges or that the cards might be deactivated.

Another thing you can do is to have a safe place to go. This can be a shelter or a trusted friend or family member’s house. Be sure that you choose somewhere that you will be safe. Don’t go to a place where your abuser might be able to get you alone or get to you easily.

You should consider filing for a restraining order that will let your ex know to stay away from you. If your ex violates the order, it is possible for criminal charges to be levied. No matter what you do, make sure you keep your wits about you so that you can try to keep yourself and your children safe.