Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive partner is an extremely difficult experience on many levels. It is emotionally trying, physically difficult and financially risky. If you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, here is some advice for making this difficult transition.

Collect Evidence

Physical evidence of any abuse can help you build your case when you seek a divorce or a restraining order against your abuser. If you are gathering evidence, make sure to store it in a place where your abuser can’t find it. If it is possible for you to open a safe deposit box, this may be your best option. Evidence can include photographs of your injuries (preferably dated), police and medical records, broken items and written accounts. Keep a detailed journal of every violent incident you experience.

Look to the Future

Secure a safe place to go to. It can be the home of a friend or family member. If you need shelter, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) may be able to help you find shelters and services in your area.

Plan your escape. It is usually best to leave when your abuser is not present. If possible, try to pick a time when he or she will be at work or otherwise occupied. If you have children, make sure they know the plan. Emphasize that their job is to protect themselves, not you.

Contact Law Enforcement

Contact the police about obtaining a restraining order. California offers Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, which will make it illegal for your abuser to come within a certain distance of you. Other states have different names and regulations, so be sure to research your options.

Seek Legal Assistance

If you want to leave an abusive relationship and need legal guidance, contact San Diego domestic violence attorneys Fischer & Van Thiel at (760) 722-7646.

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