STOP Controlling Behaviors
and Stopping Abuse
before it Happens




Although stopping controlling behaviors and stopping abuse while living with an abuser or batterer is not 100% possible, it is possible to minimize the outcome of the attack if you are prepared. Stopping controlling behaviors and abuse once and for all, can only happen if you leave the abuser and have a restraining order against him or her.





We know there are many reasons a woman must stay with an abuser -- from financial reasons to fear of the unknown, from still loving the abuser to not knowing how to leave, from never having a job to having children with the abuser -- and everything in between -- that is why we are here to help. And that is why we have pages like "stopping controlling behaviors and abuse," because we know there is more to leaving the abuser then just packing up! Please incorporate our 8 useful tips to lessen the incidences.





Finding Safety During and Prior to an Attack



1. Try leaving before an abusive situation happens.

2. Keep car:

  • Fueled.
  • Back car into driveway for quick escape.
  • Keep an extra set of keys under driver’s seat for quick escape.
  • Keep cash and change hidden in car for immediate necessities and phone calls.

3. Have Easy Access to Telephones:

  • Keep a cell phone on you at all times.
  • Have landline phones in children’s rooms.
  • Provide children with their own personal cell phones.

4. If an abusive situation is about to occur:

  • Train children to move to a safe spot.
  • Do not go where the children are; they will be in great danger of being hurt as well.
  • Plan “practice runs” with children, in the event of a violent outburst.
  • Do not wear articles of clothing that an abuser can use as a weapon to strangle or harm you. That includes: scarves, necklaces, earrings, belts, etc.
  • Consider locating safe areas (prior to an attack) in your home that you can go to.
  • Avoid kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Avoid rooms that have weapons.

5. Go to areas of your home that provide:

  • Quick escapes.
  • Rooms with exits.
  • Doors that lead to the outside.

6. If escaping from a violent attack is unavoidable, make yourself a small target by doing the following:

  • Cover head and face.
  • Curl up into small ball in corner.
  • Locate 4 or 5 places in your home that will be your safe place. Place items there that can shield you from violent hits.
  • Run towards these items and use them to absorb the full force of the abuse.

7. Create a “code word” for your children so they can call for help or run to safety:

  • Say “run” or “call” in another language not known by abuser.
  • Make up a word. Example: “Zee-lip” or “Too-fay.”
  • Practice and remind children of code word periodically.
  • If a violent episode is about to occur, directed at you, and the children are present, stand between them and the abuser and say “run” or the code word you taught them—so you will take the brunt of the abuse.
  • If violent attacks are directed at the children, pull the children out of the way, tell them to run, and take the abuse for them.

8. Teach children to:

  • Call 911.
  • Run to a safe place or leave the house.
  • Not get involved.
  • Know their full address and phone number.
  • Never tell abuser the code words, escape plans, or safety areas.


The more you know about abuse and domestic violence the higher the chances of stopping controlling behaviors and domestic abuse. Please see About Abusive Relationships where you can find helpful topics like types of violence and abuse and signs of an abusive relationship.

To continue your research on domestic violence safety planning you can click on the aforementioned link or click directly to living with an abuser, how to leave an abusive relationship, create a false trail, or cautions for leaving the abuser.






Return to Domestic Violence Safety Plan from Stopping Controlling Behaviors
(This Page to DV Safety Plan)


Return to Domestic Violence Help from This Page
(This Page to Home Page)





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