Injury & Violence Prevention Program  (IVPP)
Contact Information
Injury & Violence Prevention Program
695 S. Vermont Avenue
South Tower, 14th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 351-1901
When You Choose to Leave: What to Expect & What To Do

Even though your partner may have never shown any signs of physical violence, during the time of separation and for months after have been shown to be dangerous, which is wise to protect you and your children.

When you choose to leave the relationship, if your partner is abusive, the partner will feel you begin to become stronger and independent. This makes it difficult for them to dominate or control you. As a result, expect them to use manipulative techniques, designed to make you feel at fault, responsible, and badly for their loneliness and sadness. Remember they already know how to control you with charm, affection, and promises, and how intimidation or aggression may have worked at other times. These are only tactics used to make you move back into the relationship. These can include:

  • Apologies
  • Promises change
  • Being very nice and respectful
  • Insisting he has changed
  • Stops drinking or attends an AA program
  • Registers for anger management, therapy or abuser program
  • Threatening to kill themselves
  • Doing things that are self-destructive, so you will worry and feel sorry for them
  • Threatening to kill or injure you and/or your children
  • Getting pregnant
  • Stalking you
  • Physically or sexually assaulting you
  • Threatening to take the children or pets
  • Threatening to leave you with no money or place to live
  • Threatening or assaulting anyone you try to begin a new relationship with, or anyone who tries to help you
  • Saying they will be lost without you
  • Blaming you for their pain of you leaving, that it is all your fault
  • Saying that no one else will want to be with you
  • Threatening to leave you
  • Talking to your friends or family, to get them to convince you to giving the relationship another chance
  • Spreading rumors about you-tries to destroy your reputation or friendships
  • Taking care of things that you have been complaining about for a long time
  • Having you see them with someone else, only to make you jealous or to hurt you
  • Destroying items that mean a lot to you, your house, car, personal possessions, etc.

If you choose to leave an unhealthy relationship, you can prepare and protect yourself from the above tactics. Once you choose to leave, you might need to change your phone number, routes to work and school. Be prepared for your ex-partner to accidentally run into you at your place of work, school, where you buy groceries, etc. The way to prevent this is to change some of these habits for a few months. Also write down and remember a few responses in case you do see them. Such as, “oh I just received a call or I am late for an appointment and have to leave”. Just be prepared with a comment to leave, so you do not get caught up into being manipulated in hearing “it is so nice to see you are happy and doing well”. It seems so sweet and innocent and might be, but be wary and be ready to leave. The following are some points that have been found helpful to others leaving similar relationships. You can also contact the domestic violence hotline for more information at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY):

  • Change cell phone number or get a cell phone for emergencies
  • Change your driving routes to and from school or work
  • Change your car, if you have tinted windows, remove the tinting. If they are not tinted, get them tinted.
  • Purchase new clothes
  • Join a health or hobby club
  • Keep your cell phone available for emergencies
  • Take a self defense class
  • If some of these do not work and, if your ex-partner approaches you and you tell them to leave you alone, tell them if they do not that you will call the police and if this happens do it.
  • You may need to obtain a restraining order (Information below)

To obtain a Domestic Violence restraining Order you must file in person at one of the following:
Los Angeles Superior Court
111 N. Hill Street
Department 8, Room 245
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Pasadena Superior Court
300 East Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91101

Bancroft, Lundy, Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and controlling men. Berkley Publishing Group, New York, NY (2002)

If you or your family are in the need of assistance call the 24-Hour Crisis Line below:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) OR 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
1-800-978-3600 (within LA County only)

Intimate Partner Violence Home
For more information please call (213) 351-7888

Home  |
Injury & Violence Prevention Program
Public Health
LA County
  Careers  |   DPH Programs  |   Email: Webmaster  | Notice of Privacy Practices | 
  Website Privacy Policy  |   Language  |   Accessibility  |   Disclaimer |   Employee  |
Admin Use
Outlook E-mail
DPH Intranet (At Work)
Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
Los Angeles County Seal: Enriching lives through effective and caring services