Former "Basketball Wives" cast member Tanya Young Williams is intimately familiar with the interplay between domestic violence and professional sports. After filing a divorce suit citing "physical violence" against ex-husband and former NBA player Jayson Williams in 2009, she is using the experience to help other women in her predicament.
In a conversation with HuffPost Live, Williams discussed the reality that many women face when they consider leaving an abusive relationship. "What I know for sure is that most women do not leave initially, regardless of how bad the situation," she told host Caroline Modarressay-Tehrani. "They may not know where to go. They may not have the support system. They may be unstable financially."
Additionally, women in abusive relationships often cannot ensure their safety by leaving a violent partner. Considering that a lack of support or finances can also inhibit women's ability to leave, Williams compiled a “survival kit” for abuse victims who need to escape a violent situation "at a moment's notice."
“Included in that kit is money, including coins. You may not have your cell phone. You need coins to hit the telephone booth,” Williams said. She also emphasized the importance of keeping extra clothing, keys to one’s home and car and copies of all important documents, like a driver’s license, credit card and passport.
"Very often the abuser will take your car keys -- he wants to control where you go. Have an extra set of keys to your car. Have copies of all of your documents. If he takes your wallet, if you have the credit card numbers, you might be able to access resources," she said.
In addition to these items, she stressed having a “strategy for your safety” and a network of friends and family to call when you’ve left the abusive household.
“Most importantly, have phone numbers of people you can call when you’re in that moment,” she said.
Watch the full conversation about surviving domestic abuse here.
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