Last week, Sania Khan, a 29-year-old Pakistani American, was allegedly killed by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide after making a series of TikTok videos about their divorce. Sania was using her platform to educate others about the stigma of divorce in the South Asian community and how it keeps women in unhealthy relationships. Just a few months after their divorce was finalized, her ex-husband travelled more than 800 miles to commit this horrific crime.
Tragically, this is not uncommon for survivors of domestic violence. One of the most dangerous times in a survivor’s life is when they leave their abusive partner because the abuse tends to escalate. For instance, if a survivor’s partner was predominately emotionally abusive, then they may engage in physical abuse when their partner leaves.
“When the person being abused attempts to leaves the relationship, it is a major loss of control for their abusive partner,” explains Stephanie Klotz, professional training manager at JBWS. “The majority of domestic violence homicides and most of all serious injuries in abusive relationships occur when the survivor ends the relationship.”
And this danger does not subside after a few weeks. In fact, there is a 75% increase of violence upon separation for at least two years according to Battered Women’s Support Services.
However, that does not mean that it is not possible to safely leave an abusive relationship. It requires education about the potential dangers of leaving, support with safety planning, and access to numerous different services. If you or a loved one is experiencing any form of abuse (regardless of severity), call our 24 hour helpline at 1.877.R.U.ABUSED, or 1.877.782.2873.
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