In A Violent Relationship But Don't Know How To Leave? The Practical Steps You Need To Take

Posted on: 27 May 2015

For women who are in violent relationships the question they are often asked is why didn't they leave earlier? The nature of domestic violence is often to blame for this, with victims being so demoralised, alienated from friends and family, threatened with the loss of their children, and financially controlled that they don't feel able to make their escape from a violent spouse.

Building up the emotional strength to leave is the biggest part of the problem, but having a solid practical plan is a vital factor in ensuring a safe and permanent removal from a violent relationship:

Contact a lawyer

This is the first and perhaps most important step. A lawyer will set your mind at ease over child custody issues, which are often used by abusers as a manipulation tool. They will also help you to take out an AVO (apprehended violence order), or DVO, (domestic violence order), against your spouse so that they are not permitted to contact or approach you.

A lawyer will also be able to assist you in filing for divorce. They will also be able to advise you on your rights regarding what possessions and property you will be entitled to once you file for divorce. You will need good legal advice when leaving an abuser as it in their nature to want to punish you for leaving them, and they often use dirty tactics to achieve this.

Organise a place to live

This is especially important if you have children. Many women have returned to violent spouses because they have left in a hurry on the spur of the moment and have nowhere to go. Reach out to friends and family and find a safe and secure place to stay until you can find your own home.

You may find that friends and family aren't able to help you, or you have lost contact with them because your spouse has systematically alienated you from them. In this case then there are dedicated women's shelters which offer accommodation for women fleeing domestic violence situations.

While these aren't permanent, they are a safe and welcoming place to stay, and are staffed by people who can help, advise, and console you after you've made such a courageous and life-changing decision.

Pick your time

The best time to leave is when your spouse isn't home, or you run the risk of being physically or emotionally prevented from leaving. Leaving after a bout of violence also means that you won't be able to take the necessities for you and your children with you.

When you leave make sure you take all that you'll need for several days, including clothes, toiletries, documents, and medications for you and your children. When it comes time to return and remove furniture and other large possessions, you can ask the police to attend with you. This means that if your spouse tries to prevent you from taking your own things or displays aggression or violence towards you, they can be arrested.

Once you have left a violent partner, you may feel a combination of pride, elation, fear, and anxiety. This is only natural, but seeing a counsellor or psychologist is another important step to regaining your self-confidence, self-respect, and a sense of control over your own life.

To learn more, contact a company like CLP Legal.