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Domestic violence does not end when you leave. In fact, it can be the most dangerous time. Planning ahead for that step can increase the odds of success and decrease the odds that the abuser can do more harm.
Leaving an abusive relationship is the most dangerous time for a victim. This is the time when the abuser realizes they have lost control. This is a huge trigger for violent behavior. 75% of all domestic violence related homicides occur when a victim decides to leave. Another little known fact is there is also a 75% spike in violence for at least two years after separation.
It does not end when you leave, and could escalate immediately after leaving, so planning ahead is essential for many survivors to help them get out, get safe and stay safe.
Steps for Leaving a Domestic Violence Relationship:
1. Get Ready
This may be one of the biggest decisions of your life. Make a plan and think through what you need to bring.
2. Get Out and Get Safe
A safety plan is a practical, personal and proactive tool that can help you identify danger and how to respond if you face a dangerous situation. It can also be very empowering to recognize your partner’s “triggers” and how he or she may react to you leaving. It allows you to think through potential dangers, identify ways you can protect yourself, and who to reach out to if you need help.
Common Forms of Retaliation:
Where to Go: Shelters for Women and Families
3. Get Out. Get Safe. Get a Lawyer.
Filing for divorce and custody protects your finances and your children. Upon filing for divorce, the court issues a temporary injunction preventing both parties from dissipating marital assets as well as prohibiting either party from taking children out of state.
A good lawyer is as essential as a safety plan. Call Burnham Law today for a consultation.