Episode 1. The Complexities of Leaving an Abusive Relationship: Understanding Safety Plans

In this episode of Talking Up Peace, Jenny Castro discusses safety plans with Patricia Castillo, the co-founder of Peace Initiative in San Antonio, Texas. Patricia has worked tirelessly for over 40 years to end violence against women and within families. The discussion focuses on the difficulties of leaving an abusive relationship and why it is so hard to do so. Patricia explains that perpetrators make sure that leaving is not an option, and the survivor’s safety is at risk when attempting to leave. Leaving is the most dangerous time for any survivor of domestic violence. It is also complicated as survivors often feel embarrassed and ashamed and want to keep the abuse hidden from family and friends. Perpetrators also threaten the safety of anyone who tries to help the survivor leave. This makes it challenging for survivors to seek support from those around them. Patricia suggests that safety plans can be a lifesaver for many survivors. These plans involve advocates, friends, and family members who can provide help and support without the perpetrator’s knowledge. The episode highlights the importance of safety plans and the complexity of leaving an abusive relationship.

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