The tragic truth is that many Louisiana residents live in fear, and the danger comes from within their own homes. Your home should be the one place where you feel safe, but not everyone has that luxury. Instead, they suffer emotional and physical abuse from someone that should protect and love them.

Many may not yet be able to get out of this frightening situation. Other people may not be able to understand the amount of courage it takes to leave. Making a plan may help relieve some of the tension and give hope. Some advocacy groups recommend documenting incidents with as much detail as possible while creating a plan to get to safety.

Confiding in someone trustworthy who can keep your notes and be a lifeline may help. Perhaps it would be useful to create a code word for that person to know when you are in trouble. In many situations, a victim knows when an incident may occur, and having a plan to get help could be life saving. It is not always easy to just walk away, but building a support network and understanding your rights may provide much needed courage to take that first step.

If you suffer physical abuse at the hands of someone you live with, you do have rights. You may obtain a temporary restraining order and temporary custody of your children, if any. Once you are in a safe place, you may be able to utilize the courts in order to obtain a more long-term protective order while you put your life back together and take whatever legal steps are necessary in order to free yourself from your abuser. The services of a Louisiana family law attorney may prove invaluable during this time.

Source: loveisrespect.org, “What If I Live with My Abusive Partner?,” accessed on Jan. 23, 2018