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Protecting Yourself From An Abusive Spouse

Empowered Family Law P.C. is dedicated to supporting and guiding abuse survivors. People who experience violence in the home are often ashamed to acknowledge it to others. It is so important for victims to understand what to do and how to protect themselves. Not all abuse is physical. In this blog, we will discuss the different forms of abuse, how to seek help, and we will also outline the dangers associated with leaving the abuser. It is important to understand that when abusers feel like they are losing control, their actions could become more aggressive. 

Understanding Abuse

As mentioned above, abuse is not limited to physical actions. One of the ways it can manifest is when a person tries to inflict emotional and psychological damage on someone else. 

  • Manipulation 
  • Belittlement 
  • Humiliation 
  • Threats
  • Controlling language
  • Insults 

These are areas that don’t leave visible damage associated with hitting, restraining, or pushing, but they can erode someone’s esteem and self-worth. Additionally, spouses may try to inflict harm by restricting someone’s access to money, often associated with someone trying to exert control over another. 

Documenting Abuse

The most important consideration is to ensure you and your children’s safety. One of the first things you should do is develop a safety plan, including knowing where to go if you must leave the house, having emergency contacts, and sharing your situation with a trusted friend or family member. 

When able, document the abuse, which means more than taking pictures. Keep a log of when abuse has occurred, the time of day when it has happened, and a description of what took place. If the police were involved, your attorney could obtain a copy of the report that was filed. If you receive text messages or emails that contain verbal abuse (as listed above), save them in a secure location and send a backup to a trusted person. To add another layer of protection, ensure that you have a way to protect this evidence. Your identification cards, passports, and financial records should also be stored safely. 

The next step, which should happen simultaneously with the first one, is to contact an attorney who works in family law and has experience supporting victims of domestic abuse. Firms like ours will often be able to recommend mental health professionals. 

Safety Risks To Consider

Leaving an abuser can be complex and unpredictable. When an abuser senses that they are losing control, they may respond by becoming more aggressive and engage in the following actions. Please, do not read this as reasons why you should not leave but rather as things you should be aware of. 

  • Stalking and harassment 
  • Steps to monitor who you are talking to 
  • Retaliation against your family and friends 
  • The abuser may try to talk to them to get them on their side
  • Using the legal system to antagonize you
  • Making an effort to put you under a financial strain 

Protect Yourself & Your Family

Begin by contacting an attorney to have a devoted advocate who will protect you and your rights during this time. Once you have a safety plan, consider limiting your online presence by changing your passwords, blocking your abuser’s access to any personal social media accounts you have, and being very cautious about what you say or post—even if your account is private. 

Empowered Family Law, P.C., recognizes the complexities and risks of being in and leaving an abusive relationship. Remember, you are not alone, and there are dedicated professionals like us who are committed to helping you. We have a network of people who can assist you because we recognize some of your needs exist beyond the legal realm. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation. Let’s work together so you can begin to feel empowered again by living a life of safety, security, and happiness. 

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Empowered Family Law, PC

With Empowered Family Law, you get an advocate who sees difficulties as opportunities for growth and emphasizes healing and problem-solving no matter how challenging your case.

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