Escaping an abusive relationship or domestic violence situation isn’t easy. Every year, 10 million men and women annually are affected by domestic violence. This pervasive problem is a challenging one to escape as it affects every aspect of an individual’s life. If you’re in a domestic violence situation, consider the following four steps.
Reach out to a Loved One
It isn’t uncommon to feel alone when trying to escape an abusive relationship. Despite these feelings, you’re never alone in this type of situation. Reach out to a family member or friend you trust to help you. In the event that you can’t find someone to speak with, there are local and national organizations that you can contact. For example, calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224 or 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) will put you in contact with organizations that are able to provide the support and advice you need.
Hire an Attorney
Another resource to consider when escaping domestic violence is a domestic violence attorney. Hiring a lawyer can help you take important legal steps to put distance between you and the abuser. With the help of an attorney, you can get a restraining order against the abuser, file a civil lawsuit for domestic violence, get custody of your children, and file for divorce. Though these decisions may seem overwhelming at the time, the right attorney will be able to help you pinpoint the best next steps to take.
Research Shelters in Your Area
Housing is one of the main factors that make it difficult to leave an abusive situation. While leaving the abusive relationship is the most logical step to take, this isn’t the safest option if you don’t have somewhere to live. Thankfully, many cities have emergency shelters that anyone in a domestic violence situation can go to find safety. Emergency shelters are equipped to help anyone in an abusive relationship with immediate assistance. In addition to housing, these shelters often provide therapy and legal assistance, allowing you to take the next steps in leaving your abusive situation.
Find Financial Assistance
It’s difficult to leave an abusive relationship if your partner is the main provider. Finding financial independence is a crucial factor in escaping an abusive situation. Research crime victim compensation in your area to search for programs that will cover expenses such as counseling, dental and medical costs, lost wages, and related costs. Similarly, you can find scholarships, assistance in finding a job, and help with medical needs as well.
Everyone deserves to feel safe and protected in their relationships, and some people need extra protection in getting out of bad ones. Keep this guide in mind as you determine the best next steps to take in getting to safety. There are resources available for those in domestic abuse situations and knowing them can help save your life.
Author information: Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.