Being in a domestically violent relationship is one of the most challenging things someone can ever put up with. It not only destroys the victim’s self-esteem, making them doubt themselves every step and leaving them no choice but to bury themselves in a corner for nobody to take notice of.
Domestic violence is more common than you know. According to research, one in four women is bound to experience domestic violence at some point, whereas one in seven men also experience domestic violence. The number is alarming, and the ratio continues to grow for several reasons.
So what can someone in an abusive relationship do to get themselves out of the situation? Domestic violence lawyers certainly exist in the justice system to help victims. But how does one identify if they are in an abusive relationship?
Let’s look at the answers.
Are You in an Abusive Relationship?
Domestic violence has various forms. It encompasses all forms of physical violence and mental abuse from psychological cruelty to financial torture.
The victims often don’t realize – or they stop thinking – they are in an abusive relationship because the entire routine becomes normal to them. They get accustomed to living in a shadow, making it all the more difficult to identify domestic violence.
Here is what you should know about an abusive relationship:
- You’re being physically abused.
- You’re being sexually abused
- You’re being verbally and emotionally abused.
- Every choice of yours is being controlled by someone else.
You must first know that none of this is your fault. Victim blaming is typical in abusive relationships because it gives a form of control to the abuser. Domestic violence victims also have very fragile mental health, making it even more challenging to make sense of the situation.
Of course, family support for the victim is imperative. Your parents, sibling, or relative can refer you to or find domestic violence lawyers to give you the best advice.
The first priority of any domestic violence lawyer would be to protect their victim from the constant harm they may have suffered. Secondly, they’ll ensure the victim gets fair compensation for all types of harm brought about by the abuser.
Unfortunately, not many people report domestic violence cases because they don’t believe it is worth fighting against. Contrary to what people may believe, domestic violence lawyers are there to help.
But before finding help, you’ve got to protect yourself and make sure you are safe.
5 Ways to Deal With an Abusive Relationship
Ending an abusive relationship – marriage or any type of binding – can be complicated. But regardless of whether you’re ready to separate yourself from the abuser, here are a few steps to ensure your protection.
1. Identify Red Flags
You need to figure out what triggers your abuser. Be very careful and assess their mood. Realize when they are furious to prevent yourself from an unforeseen physical or emotional blow.
2. Find Safe Areas in Your Home
That’s something you need to work out as soon as you identify the red flags. Although finding a safe spot can be difficult, you can also make arrangements. Think about a space that receives the least attention – a spot where your abuser can’t think of.
- A small hiding spot in the backyard or garage
- Storage under the stairs with a locking door
- Your bedroom closet, perhaps
- A spot in your children’s room (if possible)
To add, have the presence of mind to keep a phone as you hide so that you can make an emergency call before the abuser finds you.
3. Develop a Code Word
Develop a code word and let your children, neighbors, or friends know, so they are aware you’re in danger. It could be anything like a signal or a phrase. Make them aware of your situation, so they know when to call the police.
4. Have an Escape Plan
If your abuser is physically violent, then you must always be prepared with an escape plan. Hide your car keys somewhere accessible in case you have to flee. Keep your car fueled up, facing the driveway, and always keep the driver’s side unlocked.
5. Make an Emergency Call
Memorize a list of numbers of all those who can help you out if the situation worsens. These include:
- Domestic violence help
- Your neighbors
- Parents and/or siblings
- Close friends or colleagues
And when you get yourself out of trouble, seek legal assistance. A domestic violence lawyer with the right experience can help you fix things up.
Why Hire Domestic Violence Lawyers?
If you’re wondering what a domestic violence lawyer can do in a situation like this, here is what you should know.
Receive Expert Advice
Abusive relationships affect the mind and the body. The impact may prevent you from thinking straight and making rational decisions.
A domestic violence lawyer will give you expert advice that serves your best interest regarding how to handle your case. In addition, they will have a more objective approach toward your case and will do everything they can to ensure your future remains secure.
Have Someone in Your Corner
The victim needs someone who does the following:
- Gives a shoulder to cry
- Understands the situation
- Knows all the way out
An experienced domestic violence lawyer will do that for you. But more importantly, their legal advice can help you put up a strong case against your abuser in court, making them pay for all the suffering.
Help Obtain a Restraining Order
A restraining order is the court’s order to restrict someone from actions that are potentially harmful to others. This is the first step to protecting victims of abuse, and getting a stay-away order would be the first priority of your lawyer
This is obviously for the peace of mind of the victim. And if the abuser tries to intimidate you in any way, you can always file another lawsuit against them.
It can be challenging for someone to deal with the trauma of being in an abusive relationship. That kind of suffering can take away someone’s peace of mind, self-respect, and every ounce of self-sufficiency they have.
Walking out of a relationship like this is challenging, but it’s not impossible, especially if you have the right support system. Whether you’re ready to separate yourself from the abuser or not, you can always ensure your protection by following the things we have suggested above.