I’m a Victim of Domestic Abuse. What Can I Do?

Domestic abuse is a very real, present issue in today’s society. With recent domestic abuse cases in the media, we would like to bring attention to this issue. Learn what you can do if you find yourself or someone you love in an abusive relationship.couple yelling at each other

Types of Domestic Abuse

  • Physical Abuse- intentionally causing harm to a spouse or partner.
  • Emotional Abuse- abuse that takes the form of verbal assaults, isolation, intimidation and controlling behavior.
  • Sexual Abuse- any situation where the victim is forced to participate in unwanted sexual activity.
  • Financial Abuse- controlling a partner with money.

How to Protect Yourself

Whether you are ready to leave your abuser or not, knowing how to protect yourself can make all the difference in a domestic abuse situation.

  • Learn your abuser’s behavior– if your abuser starts to get irritated or angry, find believable reasons to leave the house. Avoiding a potentially violent situation could save your life.
  • Come up with a code word or phrase– this will let children, neighbors or your family know that you are in trouble and the police need to be called. This code word can protect you and your children from further harm.
  • Make an escape plan– leaving the abuser can often be a difficult, drawn-out process. However, living with the abuse is dangerous and unhealthy. To learn more about leaving your abuser, click here.

How to Help a Loved One

There are many do’s and don’ts for speaking up to someone whom you suspect to be part of an abusive relationship.

Do:

  • Ask if something is wrong
  • Listen to the victim
  • Express concern
  • Support all decisions
  • Offer help in any form

Don’t:

  • Place blame or judgment on the victim
  • Pressure him or her to get out of the relationship
  • Force opinions on the victim

If you are currently in a domestic abuse situation, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss. Our skilled attorneys will work with you to create a protection order to ensure your safety. We can also help with other legal matters such as child custody and filing for a divorce.

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