This guide suggests things you should do once you’re in a safe environment. It is vital that you get yourself and your family to a safe environment before starting any of the actions on this list.
If you feel like you or your children are in danger, call 911 as soon as possible. Don’t want to upset your abuser? One woman used this pizza-ordering 911 call method, but it’s been heavily reported on, so repeating it may not be safe. Set up a passphrase with a supportive friend that you can test them without raising suspicion, which will tell them to start a series of agreed-upon actions.
Once you’re separated and in a safe place, then you can start to think about the legal repercussions of your abuser’s actions and contact a domestic violence attorney.
Signs it’s Time to Hire a Domestic Violence Attorney
Taking legal action against an abuser is one of the only ways to make sure they never abuse you again. We know it’s hard, but it’s the right (and safest) thing to do. It could even save your life!
Sign #1 You Have Lasting Marks
First, it should be said that any marks your abuser left on you should be documented. Take clear pictures along with detailed notes of what happened. These will help you in court later on.
Second, if your significant other ever hits you so hard that it leaves a bruise or a mark, that’s domestic violence, and it’s time to call an attorney. Though they will undoubtedly apologize and say it’ll never happen again, usually the opposite is true.
In fact, data shows that most abusers get more violent over time, not less.
Ask the police for a recommendation for legal counsel when you file your report or visit this site to learn more.
Sign #2 No One Believes You
In many cases, the abusers’ family will refuse to come to terms with the fact that their loved one is abusing you. They may go out of their way to discredit you and to make your legal battle harder.
Being a victim of domestic violence is hard enough – you don’t need their harassment on top of it. Working with a domestic violence attorney will help keep you protected, and your lawyer can help you organize your evidence.
If things are getting worse with their family, they can even help you file a restraining order.
Sign #3 Your Spouse is Withholding Resources From You
If your spouse isn’t allowing you access to the bank account you and they legally share, that’s one sign of abuse of power in a relationship and, usually, of worse things to come.
When you signed your marriage certificate and the papers at the bank on your joint account, you agreed to give each other free access. If they are keeping you from accessing money because they fear you’re going to leave, your lawyer can work on a payment plan with you or help you access the funds in the bank.
Finding a Domestic Violence Attorney
Staying in an abusive relationship can get you killed. As scary as that sentence is, it’s the truth. And the worst part is, leaving is the most dangerous time for victims in abusive relationships.
A domestic violence attorney and the professionals at your local domestic violence shelter or safe house can help you navigate this scary time.
For information about what abuse looks like and to access the national abuse hotline, follow this link. To be quickly directed to another page on our site, click here.