Domestic abuse is a harrowing experience and can leave victims feeling helpless and trapped. Leaving an abusive spouse is incredibly difficult, and it can be a dangerous time in your life. Despite the challenges, it is essential to take steps to keep yourself safe and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. In this blog, we discuss how to safely leave an abusive spouse.
Tips for Safely Leaving an Abusive Spouse
Leaving an abusive marriage can be extremely difficult and very dangerous. The following are tips detailing how abuse survivors can escape abusive spouses as safely as possible:
- Know the signs and trust your instincts. It is common for victims of domestic violence to doubt their instincts and second-guess themselves. However, it is important to trust your feelings and trust that you know what is best for you and your family. The signs of abuse can vary from physical aggression to emotional abuse and can be both overt and subtle. If you suspect that you are in an abusive relationship, it is crucial to pay attention to your instincts and seek support.
- Build a support system. Leaving an abusive partner can be frightening and isolating, and it is important to have people around you who can support you both emotionally and practically. This can include family and friends, therapists, and domestic violence advocates. Having a support system can make all the difference in navigating the complexities of leaving a violent relationship.
- Create a safety plan. A safety plan is an essential tool for anyone trying to leave an abusive relationship. A safety plan is a personalized plan of action tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. It includes practical steps to take in the event of an emergency, such as how to contact the police, where to go, and how to protect yourself and your children. Having a safety plan in place can make all the difference in staying safe during this dangerous time.
- Keep evidence. If you are considering leaving an abusive spouse, it is crucial to start keeping a record of the abuse you have suffered. This record can include photos, videos, text messages, and statements from witnesses that may help support your case in court. It is also important to keep a record of any medical treatment you have received because of the abuse. Evidence will be critical in proving your case and keeping you and your family safe.
- Talk to a lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in domestic violence cases can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the process of leaving an abusive partner. They can provide advice on how to obtain restraining orders, file for divorce, and get custody of your children. A lawyer can also help ensure that you receive the financial support you need to start your new life.
Leaving an abusive partnership is likely one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but it’s also one of the most crucial. Remember to trust your instincts, build a support system, create a safety plan, keep evidence, and talk to a lawyer. Most importantly, take steps to prioritize your safety and focus on your healing. The journey ahead may be difficult, but it’s essential to stay strong and keep moving forward.
At Arnold Law Group, APC, our family law attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience helping clients escape marriages of all types, including abusive relationships. Call us at 559.900.1263 or reach out to us online today to schedule a confidential consultation with our experienced and discreet divorce and domestic violence lawyers in Fresno.