Stop the Violence: What to Do if You are a Victim of Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is a terrible crime, and one that can affect you not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. If you have children, the abuse can quickly turn on them as well. Even if your partner never physically hurts the children, they are also victims because they have to witness these types of events. While it can sometimes seem hopeless, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your children so you can finally put a stop to the violence. The following are practical steps you can take right away.

Contact the Police

If you are able to safely contact the police, this should always be the first step. They can help you get out of a dangerous situation and into safety. Ideally, you will be able to press charges as well, but even if that isn’t yet possible, this is an important first step toward putting an end to the violence. Remember, even if you didn’t contact the police while the violence was actually taking place, you can always do it the next day to get their help in escaping from this situation.

Find a Safe Place to Stay

If you have a close friend or family member, don’t hesitate to ask if you can stay with them while you get things figured out. These people will almost certainly be more than willing to do whatever is necessary to help you. Even if you don’t have close friends or family nearby, there are domestic violence shelters across the country that will take you and your children in with no advanced notice if necessary. Don’t ever hesitate to take advantage of these life-saving resources.

File for a Restraining Order

Filing for a restraining order can help ensure your abusive partner won’t come after you or your children. If they do, or even if they threaten to, call the police to enforce the order immediately. Don’t give your partner a chance to explain or try to convince you that they just want to talk. Once you have that order in place, take full advantage of the protections it can offer. Restraining orders do require you to work through the court system and file the proper paperwork. If you need assistance with this type of thing, or any legal matters related to domestic abuse, please don’t hesitate to contact us to talk to an experienced attorney.

Written by John M. Totten

John M. Totten

John's office is in Athens, Alabama, where he has helped thousands of people in North Alabama with everything from family law issues, to catastrophic injury and death cases, to criminal defense.