Leaving a marriage is difficult but, sometimes, it is something that needs to be done to give yourself, and your children, a better life.
People who have gone through abuse — whether physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional — may find it even more challenging to get out of the house, especially if they have been isolated from family and friends, financially crippled, threatened, and manipulated. If you are trying to decide whether to leave your partner or not, the answer is yes. No one deserves to be abused.
When you are ready, here are the things that you should do:
Talk to an Attorney if You’re Married, Have Kids
The first thing you need to do is seek legal guidance. You can find a divorce attorney in Long Island, NY who can tell what options you have and help you get a restraining order if you and your children’s safety are at risk.
However, if you are in immediate danger and there is no time to consult an attorney, call the police. If you have the chance to flee, there are domestic violence women’s shelters around the city that can give you and your kids a safe place to stay.
Surround Yourself with People You Can Trust
One strategy an abusive partner uses to keep their victims within reach is to isolate them from family and friends. Do not be afraid to reach out to people in your life that you trust if you need help.
If you are planning to escape your home, call a friend or a family member to tell them about the situation, assist you, and hide you from your partner. Moreover, if they know your situation, they can also check in every once in a while to make sure that you are okay.
Get a Second Mobile Phone
Some victims of domestic abuse may not have access to a phone. Do not wait for your partner to confiscate your smartphone and cut your telephone lines. Buy yourself an affordable mobile phone that you should keep somewhere secret but safe. It would also help you in the future to memorize phone numbers of trusted family members and friends, women’s shelters, and your divorce attorney in case you need to contact them in secret.
During divorce proceedings, you will need to provide proof that your partner has been abusive. There are many types of evidence you can use against them such as photographs of physical injuries and broken items at home or e-mail and text messages. Depending on which state you live in, it may be permissible to videotape an assault. Your friends and family members, to whom you have confided with the abuse, can also testify in court.
Take Important Documents
If you can, pack copies of important documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, health insurance cards, passports or immigration papers, bank statements, and deed to property you own. If you have them, you should also take with you any copy of restraining orders or court orders that you have against your partner.
You may also want to take valuable assets at home such as jewelry that may be worth some money. If you have been financially dependent on your partner, this may help you return to normalcy once you leave.