Thinking About Leaving?

You are not alone

The decision to leave or remain in a relationship is yours. We appreciate the many reasons why you may stay, including: out of love, out of fear, for financial security or housing, lack of support or child custody concerns.

You are not alone. There are options. If you are experiencing violence or abuse in your relationship, please call our 24-hour support line 1-877-890-5711. A trained support worker will help guide you through your options, even if you are not ready to end the relationship.

Would you rather connect with a support worker in person? Support workers are available to provide information and support as you explore your options and assist you in negotiating practical challenges at our Whistler and Squamish PearlSpace drop-in centre locations. Our PearlSpace drop-in centres are a place to cultivate hope offering space for you to receive confidential support, information, advocacy and referrals.

If you have to leave your home, it is important to take your children with you. It will help you protect them and improve your chances of getting the parenting orders you want later.

If your partner will not let you take the children, get legal advice right away. A lawyer might be able to help you get an interim parenting order or a protection order to get the children to safety. If you cannot afford your own lawyer, you can call legal aid or talk to family duty counsel for free.

Safety Planning

Whether you decide to stay in the relationship or leave, consider creating a safety plan. Although you do not have control over your partner’s violence, you can plan and think about how to respond to them and how to best keep yourself and your children safe. Connect with a support worker to develop a personalized safety plan. Our support workers will help you identify strategies to increase your safety while living with an abusive partner, prepare in advance for the possibility of further violence and/or develop a plan for preparing to leave.

The level of risk increases for the person when the abuser believes that they are actually leaving the relationship. Leaving must be done with a careful plan to ensure safety.

Pearlspace Squamish Womens Resources 19 (1)

What to take with you if you leave home

Consider placing some items in one location for easy access if you have to leave quickly. If that isn’t safe, store items outside the home or give copies of documents to someone you trust, such as:

  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Birth certificates, Care Cards, Social Insurance Card (SIN), Status cards
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Cheque book and bank book
  • Money, debit and credit cards
  • Lease/rental agreement, house deed, mortgage papers
  • Marriage license, divorce papers, protection order
  • Insurance papers (car, home, health)
  • Passport
  • Citizenship or immigration documents, work permits
  • Keys (house, car, office)
  • Bus pass or money for a cab

Pets and abuse

Pets can often become the target in homes where violence occurs. In order to obtain and/or maintain control over a partner, an abuser may threaten and/or cause physical harm to family pets. This form of psychological abuse is highly effective as many people will choose not to leave an abusive situation if it means they must leave their animals behind.

Pearl’s Place Transition House believes it is important to support all members of the household experiencing or at risk of violence, and has room dedicated to program participants with pets.

If you suspect animal abuse, please contact: