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How do you deal with bad breakups?

Breakups are never easy, especially if you’re concerned about how your partner will react. If your partner has shown controlling, jealous, or violent behaviours, you might be in an abusive relationship check out our article on relationship violence for more information. 

Understanding Abusive Relationships

Abuse isn’t just physical—it can also be emotional, social, sexual, or financial. Threats of harm or suicide by your partner are serious red flags of abuse. Everyone deserves to make choices about their relationships freely and safely. If you’re considering leaving an abusive relationship, before you break up, it’s crucial to plan for your safety.

Preparing to Break Up

Before you leave an abusive partner you should create a plan to ensure your safety. Here are some things your plan might include and some steps you can take to keep safe:

  • Tell someone you trust: Let a friend, family member, or teacher know what’s happening. You can even agree on a code word to use between you and someone you trust to signal that you’re in danger and need help.
  • Gather important stuff: gather your ID, passport, and any important documents or emergency cash and keep them in a secure hidden place.|
  • Plan how to leave: Figure out the safest time to go, like when your partner is awa and arrange transport in advance.
  • Stay safe online: Get a new phone or SIM card if possible and update all your passwords.
  • Money matters: Depending on your circumstances it can be a good idea to separate your money from your partner. If you can try and save a bit of emergency money or ask a trusted friend or relative for financial assistance and put this money into a bank account that is in your name only.
  • Find a safe place to stay: Arrange a place to stay ahead of time, whether with someone you trust or at a shelter. You can call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for shelter options.
  • Legal help: You may want to look into getting a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) for legal protection. Free legal help is available through services like Legal Aid.
  • Emergency contacts: Keep numbers for 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, police (000), and local support services handy. Add rideshare apps to your phone.
  • Pack a Quick Exit Bag: If you live together and you’re planning to leave, it’s a good idea to pack a bag in advance that Includes essentials like clothes, medication, and personal items, ready to grab and go.
  • Stay Low-Key After Leaving: It’s a good idea to change up your routine after you leave by avoiding usual hangouts to stay safe from your ex.

This type of plan helps you prepare and protect yourself when leaving an abusive relationship. Always remember, your safety and wellbeing come first and if you or anyone you know is in danger dial 000 immediately. 

After You Breakup

Make sure you let your trusted friends, family or housemates know about the breakup and share your concerns about your ex’s potential reaction. If your ex turns up at your home, have someone else handle the situation or avoid opening the door if you’re alone. Always trust your instincts and prioritise your safety by dialling police on 000 if you feel unsafe.

Support and Self-Care

Breakups can be emotionally draining. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions afterwards. If your ex continues to contact you, remember you don’t have to respond. Give yourself the time and space to heal. Discussing your feelings with friends, family, or professionals like those at Headspace or Kids Helpline can be very helpful.

Take the time to do things that you enjoy, like seeing a movie with friends, baking cookies or having a relaxing bath. You can learn more about the importance of self-care and find more tips here. 

Getting Help

If you or someone you are with is ever in immediate danger call the police on 000. If you think you or someone you know might be in an abusive relationship you can call 1800RESPECT or Kids Helpline for confidential counselling and advice.

Need someone to talk to? Free, confidential support is available.

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