You can see it, but she can’t. You’re seeing red flag after red flag coming from the man that she’s in love with and you don’t know how to help her see them. She’s blinded by love and you don’t know what to do.
When she finally realizes that the man she is in love with doesn’t really exist and is ready to leave him, here are a few suggestions on how to help a friend do to get out and to help keep her safe.
Do NOT Let Her Stay With You
This might seem counterproductive, but if you’re a good friend of hers, you’re likely one of the first places he is going to look for her. If the time comes when she is ready to leave and needs a place to stay, talk to your non-mutual friends (one that you would trust with your own life!!) and see if they would be willing to give her shelter for a short while. DV and women’s shelters are always an option if there is one in your area. You may have to wait for a spot though. Making sure your friend has somewhere safe to stay is priority number one. Not having anywhere to go is one of the biggest reasons why women won’t leave.
Buy Her A Burner Phone
Do NOT give it to her before she leaves. If she’s found with it, it could spell disaster for her. She will be questioned about how she could afford it, especially if she’s not working. She will also have accusations of using it to cheat or contact people she’s not allowed to speak with. It is much MUCH safer for you to hold onto it until she actually leaves. Once she’s out, give her the burner phone and have her turn off the old one, take out the SIM card, crush the phone by any means possible, and put the SIM card in water, and then smash that as best as possible. A piece of advice: do this somewhere random. Out on a backroad. Somewhere nowhere near your, or her home. If there is an unknown tracker on her phone, it could be used to find her. Destroy that phone as much as possible.
Store Precious Items For Her
Pieces of sentimental jewelry, collectibles, if she writes, store her work. Anything that she can sneak out of the house and won’t be missed. Store those in a safe place for her. If she has clothes she’s attached to for any reason (sentimental reasons, are usually the cause) take those and store them. If there are just other items that she loves, have her do a ‘purge.’ Purge her drawers of items that she ‘doesn’t wear’ or ‘don’t fit’ anymore and say she’s donating them. Keep them at your house, or at the safe house, she’ll be going to.
Open Up A New Checking Account In Your Name And Add Her As An Authorized User
Chances are that if you’re on the level of friendship with someone that you’re helping them escape a dangerous relationship, then you likely trust that they won’t ruin you financially. So, open up a checking account, at a bank NEITHER of you bank at, and add her as an authorized user. When the debit cards come in, store them for her. When she is finally out, give her her card to use and destroy the card from her joint account. (If you’re vindictive enough, clean it out first!)
Set Up A PO Box For Her
If she’s planning on staying in the area, help her set up a PO Box. That way, her address will only be listed as a PO Box instead of a physical home address. One more safeguard for her.
Help Her Sell Unnecessary Items
If there are items in the home that can be sold, that won’t be noticed, sell them for her and put the money in the new checking account. If there are expensive items, such as jewelry that can be sold without being noticed, sell it for her. Put the money in her new account. Help her save change. You’d be surprised how quickly it adds up. Have her fill pop bottles (rinse them out first!) and give them to you to deposit in her account. a 2-liter pop bottle will hold about $700 when filled with dimes. Something smaller could easily be hidden under the car seat, or anywhere else that he doesn’t search regularly. Perhaps at work, if she has a job. (I only say IF because some women who are in abusive relationships are not “allowed” to work.)
Help Prepare Her To Leave At A Moments Notice
You never know when the perfect opportunity will arrive. It may be that he gets called away for a surprise business trip. Maybe he gets stuck somewhere for a few extra hours. Maybe he passes out early, and your friend’s not in bed yet. Hopefully, by now, she’s sold, given away, or stored everything she’s going to want. The less she has to grab on her way out that door for the final time, the faster she is going to move. Help remind her to take only the absolute necessities.
A Few Final Words On How To Help A Friend
This is such a complicated situation. I know from experience and I really wish I’d had a list like this to help me out. The only difference being I was the one in the abusive relationship. Some of these steps may not be possible because communication between the two of you may be monitored by trackers on her phone, or you may not be allowed to spend time alone together.
If you can’t do a single thing on this list, stand by her. If she shows up in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on her back, welcome her in with open arms. All of these things can be done later and everything around her can be replaced. She can not be.
Lucky mom of three beautiful children ages 9, 11 & 12. I graduated with a double bachelor's degree in 2015 from Ashford University. One in Journalism and Mass Communications and the second in Public Relations and Marketing.