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Violence also tends to escalate after a separation: About 25 per cent of all women who are murdered by their spouse had left the relationship. We're pushing them to have a really good understanding of their risks and to have a very good safety plan," said Varcoe.
According to the YWCA, on average a woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before she leaves for good.
For women who are staying, Varcoe hopes to help them monitor their own safety and have an escape plan in place.
The goal is to give abused women confidential, personalized action plans so they can escape their partners, or help minimize their risk as they move through their decision process.
"Women may be at very different stages of their experiences.
A woman may not even be labelling what she's experiencing as abuse.
Or she may, for the reasons of her children, financial security or danger, not even have in her mind that she would ever leave her partner.
What we're aiming to do is help her to be healthier, stronger, safer – regardless of what decision she makes." The process starts with a phone call to the study line.