If you ask a domestic violence advocate or survivor about the most dangerous periods of time in a domestic violence relationship, you will probably get a similar answer from everyone: during a separation. It isn’t difficult to understand why. Abusers behave in a manner designed to gain power and control over their victims. The threats, the isolation, the emotional and physical abuse, the blaming, and the economic abuse are all for naught when a victim leaves. This brings about a potentially unhinged level of desperation in which an abuser will do anything necessary to retain their control.
If these escalating attempts to regain control are unsuccessful, there is grave potential for an abuser to try to end everything. At New Direction Family Law, we have seen what domestic violence looks like and have years of experience in advocating for victims. We urge you to always remember that the act of separating does not end the abuse, nor does it end the relationship in your abuser’s mind. So if you are in an abusive relationship and want to leave, it is therefore critical to create a safe plan of separation. Please consider taking the following steps.
- Make a plan. Speak with a discreet advocate. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or use this website to identify a local domestic violence agency for help. Domestic violence advocates are trained to help you plan or to direct you to the appropriate resources for safety or shelter.
- Seek a safe place to go. Leaving your home and going somewhere that your abuser can find and access you is unsafe. Many domestic violence agencies have emergency shelters for victims (and children). If your local agency does not have a shelter, check with surrounding counties.
- Obtain legal assistance. While your first priority is safety and shelter, you will need a lawyer if you are married to your abuser or you have children with your abuser. There are steps that an attorney can take to help you. This includes a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) to legally prohibit contact, violence, stalking, and harassment.
New Direction Family Law
If you are seeking a safe separation from an abusive relationship, get help. There are numerous domestic violence agencies that can offer you counseling and shelter. If you need legal assistance, please call New Direction Family Law. We take pride in providing compassionate, intelligent legal advocacy and take your safety very seriously. We serve Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Cumberland, Nash, Granville, Franklin, and Durham counties. Call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an initial consultation, or contact us at our website.