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Responding to an abusive relationship

If your romantic partner has begun to behave in abusive ways, you likely have numerous questions about how to respond. Depending on your circumstances, you may or may not be questioning whether to leave. You may even be questioning whether or not you deserve this treatment. The answer to this second question is unequivocally “No.” No matter how complex your circumstances are, no one deserves to be treated in an abusive manner.

The question about whether or not to leave may be more complex. You may be scared that you cannot leave safely. You may be worried about the fate of your children. You may also feel that you have no where to go. Thankfully, the law aims to protect victims of domestic abuse and numerous resources exist designed to help you leave safely and to thrive in the wake of this transition.

First and foremost, if you are in immediate danger, please contact local law enforcement. In addition, it can greatly benefit you to speak with an attorney experienced in domestic violence cases. An attorney can help you understand your legal options and can likely help to connect you with resources that may benefit you.

It is important that you contact an attorney on a secure computer and on a secure email account that your romantic partner has no access to. Creating an email account from a secure public library terminal is a good option. Alternatively, you can contact law enforcement, an attorney or both of these resources via a secure phone line that your romantic partner has no access to.

Source: Findlaw Blotter, “5 Legal Tips for Abusive Relationships,” Brett Snider, Sep. 10, 2014

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