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University Life Café

Sad woman in the foreground with a man in the background looking depressed

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Part IV

How to recognize unhealthy relationships and get out


By Karin S. Ryan, Psy.D. & Heather B. Trangsrud, Ph.D.

Why it's Hard to Leave... 

  • Abuse may slowly escalate so may not recognize it as abuse at first.
  • Intimidation or threats (e.g., will hurt family).
  • Lack of social support.
  • Lack of finances or employment.
  • Lack of housing.
  • Guilt and shame.
  • Mistrust of system.
  • Fear.
  • Stalking or increased abuse.

Preparing to Leave...

Get professional support.

  • Counseling Services
  • Women's Center
  • SafeZone ally

Get support from trusted co-workers, family, or friends.

Develop a safety plan.

Document the abuse

  • Copies of abusive emails/texts
  • Save harassing voicemails
  • Take pictures of bruises/marks
  • Written statements from witnesses
  • Report abuse to the police and press charges

How to Get Out

Go to a shelter or emergency room.

  • Manhattan Emergency Shelter – 537-3113
  • Women's Crisis Shelter – 539-2785

KS Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence

  • 1-888-END-ABUSE
  • http://www.kcsdv.org/

Crisis Center, Inc.

© All staff articles are used by permission of the respective author(s). Copyright belongs to the University Life Café. No part of this may be used without authorization.

How to recognize unhealthy relationships and get out PART IV (pdf)