If you're in an abusive relationship and you've decided to file for divorce, you may need to develop a safety plan. Having a safety plan in place can help protect you from further violence. Whether you've endured years of violence or your spouse has recently become violent, you need to plan ahead, now that you're moving forward with a divorce. The following steps should be included in your plan.
Memorize Important Numbers
In the heat of the moment, you might not be prepared to find phone numbers. Before you leave, locate a domestic abuse shelter in your community. Memorize the address and the phone number of the shelter. It's also important that you memorize your attorney's phone number. This will allow you contact them quickly once you leave.
Hide a Supply of Clothes and Money
If you have time to prepare before you leave, hide a stash of clothes and money with a friend or family member. If you don't have a friend or family member near you, store them in a locker or at work. Be sure they are in a location that you can get to quickly. Storing those items away from your home will prevent your spouse from finding them before you have a chance to leave.
Secure a Safe House
You're going to need a safe place to go once you leave your home. If time allows, secure that location in advance. Whether it's a domestic abuse shelter or a friend's home, having it arranged in advance will make it easier to leave.
Many victims of abuse keep the abuse a secret. Unfortunately, that can make it difficult to get help and can perpetuate the abuse. If you're the victim of abuse, you need to tell someone. The more people know about the abuse, the less power your abuser has over you. In addition, the people you confide in can serve as witnesses in your divorce case.
Empower Your Children
If you have children, it's important that you empower them. This can be as simple as giving them a code word that you'll use when you need them to run for help. When children know what they need to do, they can get to safety.
Notify Your Attorney
As soon as you know where you're going, you need to notify your attorney. They will need to know where you are. Your family law attorney will be able to secure a protection order for you, which will help protect you from your spouse.
If you're in an abusive relationship, it's important that you know what to do when you file for divorce. These steps can help protect you during a difficult time. Be sure to let an attorney like those at the Rosenmeier Law Office know that you're the victim of abuse. They will be able to help you get the assistance you need.