Domestic Violence and Moving House: How to Leave Safely

Nobody moves to a new home unless it's necessary, but these necessary reasons can vary to a huge degree. It might be for a new job, or needing extra room for your family, or because your lease is ending and cannot be renewed. And then there's moving to ensure your personal safety, which can be the case when you're fleeing domestic violence. How can you arrange such a move safely?

Legal Matters

The logistics of moving home to escape domestic violence can vary, and this depends on whether there are any legal implications. You might already have a domestic violence protective order in place, meaning your partner generally cannot be on-site to disrupt proceedings. However, they might be well aware of your intentions, especially when children are involved and you have applied for an amendment to your child custody order, allowing you to relocate your children. Be sure that you have fulfilled your obligations to any legal implications of your move, but don't allow this to discourage you. Seek legal advice if needed.

Safety and Privacy

Beyond the legal aspects of your relocation, you need to ensure that there are provisions in place to ensure your safety. When hiring movers, ask about their privacy policy. It needs to be clear that under no circumstances are they to disclose your new address to anyone who enquires, regardless of whatever story they might be told. Ideally, your partner will be unaware of your chosen moving company, but you can't rule out the fact that a neighbor might provide this information, having seen the moving truck. Likewise, the movers on site should not disclose any information to anyone who might ask. Your moving company should be informed of the nature of your move, allowing them to exercise the necessary caution. 

Your Possessions

Dividing your possessions can be difficult in these circumstances. Your partner might dispute your legal right to take certain items, even when you were the one who purchased them. If possible, try to locate the receipts for anything of significant value you will be taking with you. Your bank and credit card statements can also be useful in this instance. If there's any doubt, it can be preferable to leave certain items where they are, since safely leaving this abusive environment is your top priority.

Fleeing from an abusive relationship is never easy, even when you realize how necessary it is. But with some planning and caution, you can safely leave, and begin your new life.