January 10, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Domestic violence is a problem that nobody should have to experience, yet sadly, millions of children and adults become victims of abuse across the country all the time. It's crucial for women and men alike to realize what the signs are for domestic violence, and to understand how to get out of an abusive relationship and protect their children
According to The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, on one day alone in 2011, a shocking 1,752 adults and children received services for domestic violence issues in Massachusetts. There were an additional 443 unmet requests for services. Getting out of an abusive marriage before it's too late can make the difference in not only an adult victim's life, but in how children grow up and become involved in their own relationships.
The early warning signs of abuse
One in every four women will experience abuse during her life, according to Safe Horizon. It's not always easy to understand the signs of abuse, however. Abusers often start small, gradually increasing their threats and use of fear. Abusers often intimidate and control their victims by belittling them, restricting their car or phone use, shaming them, keeping them from seeing friends and family and even threatening to harm children or take them away. HelpGuide says that verbal and emotional abuse can be more frightening and confusing than physical violence.
The first step toward getting to safety is recognizing that abuse is occurring. Victims often report a constant feeling of fear or of walking on eggshells to keep from angering the other person. The abusive spouse can have an unpredictable temper and might destroy the victim's belongings.
The long-term effects of abuse on children
It's especially important to get children out of an abusive situation before long-lasting damage happens. Girls who have grown up in an abusive environment often become victims of abuse as adults, while boys are likely to become abusers themselves.
It's not easy to escape from an abusive relationship, but victims are able to do it with the right support and resources. The following tips can help:
- Get together emergency cash, belongings, documents and clothing, and store them in a safe place, such as at a friend's house.
- Create an escape plan.
- Have a strong support system of trusted friends and family.
- Memorize local emergency and crisis hotline numbers and websites.
- Document every instance of abuse, including photographs of injuries.
It can also help to get a restraining order against the abuser when it's time to get out. Many local shelters in the Boston area offer services including housing, support groups and legal advice.
Getting help from an attorney
If you need help getting yourself and your children away from an abusive spouse, there are resources available to help with every step of the way. One important step is contacting an experienced divorce attorney
, who can help to defend your rights against your abuser and to set you on the path to freedom.
Visit us at divorcelawyersboston.org/