Despite the best intentions, not every marriage ends in happily ever after. It is especially tragic when one spouse is abusive toward the other. At the Marinaro Law Firm, we understand that domestic violence is a serious problem in Pennsylvania, as well as across the country. It is also important for you to understand the steps to take when escaping an abusive relationship.
According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline, abuse victims often have difficulty escaping their situation. Your spouse might have verbally and emotionally reduced you to believing you cannot survive on your own, or that you will lose your children if you leave. You might fear for your safety if you leave your spouse. You might be ashamed that your marriage is unhappy and feel that it will be your fault if you end it. The first thing you need to realize is that being abused is never your fault. Next, you need to know that it is possible to leave your abuser if you are careful and seek help from those who are qualified to assist abuse victims.
Before you attempt to leave, it can help to have a plan and know where to go. It might be a good idea to save some money for use when you are on your own, putting it in a place your abuser does not know about. You might also gather important documents, clothing and other belongings you wish to keep. When you are ready to leave, you should notify law enforcement and seek a protection order. Officers might accompany you when you are getting out. If necessary, you can stay at a shelter for abuse victims or with a trusted friend or family member. It can also help to document evidence of abuse to use in court. Our domestic violence page explains more about escaping abuse.