The first time your spouse struck you, you might have blamed yourself. When it continued, you understood that you were not the problem. You were not a problem at all. You were the victim of domestic violence, and you needed protection.
It is time to take control of your situation. Though it will not be easy, you can accomplish this by taking the crucial and necessary steps to free yourself from this violent situation and carry on. However, it will take some work to overcome the physical and emotional wounds that you have suffered.
Get a restraining order
In its National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that more than 25% of women and close to 10% of men have been victims of sexual violence, physical violence and stalking. In addition, more than 43 million women and close to 38 million men were victims of psychological aggression from an intimate partner.
If you find yourself in this situation, here are some important steps to take:
- Seek immediate help and take flight: Leave your home and stay with a trusted friend or family member or get to a domestic abuse shelter. This will be your temporary home until authorities and the courts intervene. Never let your abusive spouse know your whereabouts.
- Get a domestic violence restraining order in place: Your estranged spouse must stay away from your home, workplace and school and not contact, threaten, harm, stalk and harass you. You will get exclusive possession of your home and your spouse must continue to pay the mortgage as well as child and spousal support.
- Do not be tempted to return to your abuser: You will likely get more of the same treatment if your estranged spouse makes promises that he or she loves you and wants you back. Do not engage.
- Find the right legal ally: You need a skilled, experienced and understanding attorney who will stand up for you in every matter related to your case. Such guidance can make a big difference.
Protecting yourself is so important in a domestic violence situation. You have taken the initiative in this first step toward a new direction in your life.
Take back control
Violence in a marriage, domestic partnership or relationship should never be tolerated. Such behavior can lead to trips to the hospital for treatment, a crushed soul and permanent wounds. Do your best to take back control and obtain the help that you need.