Leaving a Batterer

Deciding to leave your batterer is a courageous decision. It is normal to feel frightened. If you have already left your batterer, you might even feel a bit of regret and fearful of the unknown. Just know you are not alone.

As with any trip you have to plan for it. If you are planning on leaving your batterer it is always advised that you speak to an advocate first to help you through the process. Please call HCWC at (512) 396-4357 for assistance in preparing to leave. The following list is not intended to replace any advice or guidance you may receive from a trained advocate and includes items that you should consider collecting or hiding prior to leaving your house. Some documents you should copy and replace the originals if your batterer might look for them or notice they are gone. In general, you want to pack prior to leaving so you can escape easily and quickly when the time is right. Do not pack items that the batterer will notice missing; store these items in a safe place such as a friend’s house, storage unit, safe deposit box for small items and documents, or in your house in a place the batterer will not look.

• Not leaving a note, not setting out food for animals left behind
• Food for you and children if you may need to travel to your destination (do not bring too much if you are going to a shelter, just enough for the trip)
• Don’t leave behind: notes, calling cards, phone numbers, shelter information, bus tickets or airline information that may indicate where you are going. If you used the computer to record any information, search for domestic violence shelters, etc. then you should try to erase the history.


  • Identification for yourself
  • Your birth certificate
  • Children’s birth certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • School and vaccination records
  • Driver’s license and registration
  • Money
  • Checkbook, ATM card
  • Credit cards
  • Work permits
  • Green card
  • Welfare identification
  • Items of special sentimental value
  • Financial documents (i.e. income tax records, savings accounts, bank books, IRA’s)


  • Car Title
  • Marriage/divorce certificates
  • Passport(s)
  • Medical records (for all family members)
  • Insurance papers
  • Address book
  • Small saleable objects
  • Jewelry
  • Pictures
  • Keys:  House, car, office
  • Medications
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage payment book
  • Children’s favorite toys and/or blankets

• Regarding pets – HCWC does not allow pets at our shelter, but we can help you find a safe place for pets to stay while you are at the shelter.  Click on Humane Society Advice for Family Violence Victims with Pets for more information about pets, domestic violence and how to prepare your pets to leave.