A bully boyfriend provides you with enough red flags to realize an important consideration: After repeated assaults on your personal freedom and self-esteem, your boyfriend’s bullying nature could likely turn into abusive behavior toward you. Getting away from a bullying boyfriend may seem difficult – especially if you love him and share expenses together – but taking on this challenge is better than its alternative: sticking around to allow his bullying behavior to cause you acute psychological distress.
Make a Firm Decision to Leave
If you are in love with your boyfriend, you may find it extremely difficult to break the emotional ties between the two of you and leave your unhealthy relationship. If you vacillate between giving your boyfriend one more chance and leaving for good, you may want to take some time to evaluate your circumstances and make a firm decision to leave. HelpGuide.org suggests you keep in mind that bullies do not change overnight, and that regardless of what he promises, your boyfriend will likely continue to bully you, even if he goes to counseling. Be clear on your decision to leave your boyfriend so that you can focus your energy on keeping yourself safe after your departure.
Create a Safety Plan
There are at least two ways to create a safety plan, according to HelpGuide.org: planning for emergencies while still in the home and creating your actual safety plan for escape. To protect yourself from your boyfriend’s bullying or abusive behavior while you’re still in the home, identify safe locations in your home to go to, such as rooms with windows and doors for immediate exit. When creating a safety plan, be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, recommends the HelpGuide.org website, and keep a bag packed in an easily accessible location – such as the trunk of your car or a neighbor's home – with clothing, personal items, cash and important documents.
Protect Your Privacy
When seeking to escape a bullying boyfriend, it’s important to protect the privacy of your search for domestic violence resources while using technological devices. HelpGuide.org recommends using corded phones over cordless ones, making collect calls or using prepaid calling cards, and limiting use on your cell phone – especially if your phone has tracking abilities that allow your boyfriend to GPS your location. Remember, if your boyfriend has access to your phone bill he may be able to identify calls made to domestic violence shelters, too, so it’s best to use phones that can’t be easily tracked. When using the computer to research resources for women in domestic violence situations be sure to clear your search history, be cautious when sending emails and to change your usernames and passwords.
Contact a Domestic Violence Shelter
Domestic violence shelters are places where you can find refuge from your boyfriend’s bullying or abusive behavior without the added worry that he will find you. These shelters offer a number of resources, including legal assistance, support groups, services for children if you have them and financial assistance. Shelters can also help you find employment and housing, depending on which shelter you visit and the resources they have available. HelpGuide.org also suggests that you give a false name – if you fear that your boyfriend may find and hurt you – for added protection.
Seek Family Support
If you are still in touch with your family, reach out to them for additional support during this difficult time. Many women – through shame or their bullying boyfriend’s manipulation – push family members away while they are enmeshed in abusive situations. Call your parents, family or friends and explain to them your situation. Tell them that you are sorry for any distance that may exist between you and them, and ask for their forgiveness. It’s much easier to go through the difficulty of escaping a bullying boyfriend with loved ones than to bear such a burden by yourself.
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