In films such as Burning Bed, Sleeping with the Enemy, Enough, and Burning Bed, it would appear that killing the abusive, manipulative, and/or powerful spouse is the only way to get away and be safe. Most people are aware that movies often create impossible situations to heighten drama and limit options.
However, if you are victim of domestic abuse, you should know that there are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting away without violence:
Opening Your Eyes
This issue is a serious one, and should not be down-played. Also, it must be noted that women aren't the only victims of domestic violence, and when men are victims, they may have an even harder time getting help than women. In the US, approximately 835,000 men and 1.3 million women are assaulted by intimate partners yearly. It is also chilling to note that 4% of male murder victims and 33% of female murder victims are killed by spouses/partners annually.
There are added risks if the abuser is aware that you are planning to leave. The statistics show that after a (female) victim of abuse leaves they are 70% more likely to murdered by the spouse.
Innocent as a Dove But Wise as a Serpent
Because of the increased danger, a safe escape involves some planning if at all possible. You may not have luxury if the abuse is escalating, and in this case you should leave immediately.
If you are being assaulted, call (or tell your children to call) 911 immediately. One of the tricks clever abusers use is to get their partners upset and fighting back, so they can call the police first. When the police come, they are typically calm while victim is the one upset and seemingly out of control, and it may be the actual victim being arrested and facing charges.
You need to document and take pictures of any abuse and report it to the police each time it happens.
You will want to do is contact a family practice lawyer for advice on how to protect yourself in some important ways. Since your spouse may be very clever and manipulative, there are things they may try to keep you from getting custody of the children, ruin your chances of keeping (or gaining) employment, or sabotage your finances should you leave.
You should gather as much information about your joint financial matters as possible. Don't send emails about your plans or do any searches related to them on your home computer. Use a payphone or a friend's phone to make phone calls to your lawyer.
Mum's the Word on Leaving
This should go without saying, but don't tell your spouse, or anyone they are contact with, that you are leaving, not even in a high-tension moment. You may have to do some play-acting to allow the person to think that you have nothing up your sleeve..
You will want this to be a surprise and also give yourself time to successfully get away. You should pack a bag with your IDs, some cash, and important papers along with your clothing. Leave this at a trusted person's house. Don't stay with anyone your spouse knows. It may be your best option to stay at a domestic abuse shelter. A shelter will have a counselor you can talk to, and other helpful resources.
Contact your lawyer or the police so you can get an emergency protective order put in place until you can get a restraining order.
Things will be stressful for some time, but have faith that you will get through this. Keep yourself as inaccessible as possible to stay safe. Remember, if you are ever tempted to go back, that even if there is a "honeymoon" period, the abuse will become worse, and the chances will increase that someone could get seriously injured or die. Often abusive spouses will eventually want to punish you for leaving in the first place.
You and your children deserve to be treated well, and live a life free of fear and abuse. To learn more, contact a company like the Boucher Law Firm.Share