You are not alone if you’ve experienced domestic violence. Dealing with an abusive person is draining physically and mentally, making it difficult to leave. If you’re stuck in a violent situation in your home and cannot move right away, take a few steps to make your position safer. While your partner may promise you that the relationship will get better, it won’t. It may be difficult to consider leaving your partner, but for your safety and the safety of your children, if you have any, you should follow these steps to escape the relationship.
One of the first concepts to keep in mind is to argue safely if you find yourself in an altercation with a domestic abuser. Ensure that the argument takes place somewhere that you can reach the exit. The environment should not contain weapons. It’s a good idea to have phones stashed throughout the area so that you can call 911 in an emergency. Your children, neighbors, and family should also have a code word that you can use to inform them to call the police in case you cannot directly tell them to do so.
Before you leave, if it is possible, you should take the time to set up a savings and checking account that is yours alone. Tell your bank that your partner is not allowed to have access. If you cannot access a bank or extra money to stash, you can appeal to help from trusted friends and family. There are also charity organizations you can look up, as well as shelters that will protect you and help you until you figure out the next step.
You should make copies of important documents and have someone you trust to hold onto them. It’s also a good idea to make sure you know whom you can stay with after you leave your home. If you can, pack a to-go bag and stash it at a friend’s house or keep one hidden in the back of a closet in case something goes wrong, and you need to leave quickly.
If you intend to stay at home, then have the locks changed and place locks on the windows. For those who live in an apartment, you may need to check with your landlord first. It’s wise to come up with a safety plan for your children, so they know where to go should you be unable to pick them up from school. Also, inform the school who is allowed to pick up your children. Finally, go to court and seek an injunction for protection. Keep the paperwork on you at all times.
Abuse extends beyond physical injuries. There are many resources online and in-person for emotional and mental help. You should utilize these resources to receive the support, further advice, and understanding that you need. Take time to care for yourself. This is a break-up unlike any other you will experience, and will take time to heal from, but at the end of the day, you’ll be so much happier. It’s possible to leave your abuser and live independently.
If your partner is violent towards you and you are planning on leaving, get legal help first. An Orlando injunction lawyer specializing in domestic violence cases can help you settle the paperwork you need to keep your former partner away and your family safe.
Attorney Thomas Feiter was named the Florida Bar’s Board-Certified Lawyer of the Year in 2015 and has decades of experience fighting for victims’ rights. Call 407-344-4837 or to get a free case evaluation to get more information on how Fighter Law can help you stay safe after an abusive relationship.
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