Although many people erroneously believe domestic violence is exclusively against women and perpetuated by men, domestic violence against men has been rapidly rising. Domestic violence is a crime from verbal abuse to physical abuse, and there are many ways for victims to deal with their abusers. Whether the abuse is taking place in a marriage or courtship, you could take legal action against the abuser or even walk out of the abusive marriage or relationship.
Laurence J. Brock, a family law specialist, confirms “couples can file for divorce because of domestic violence.” Other than divorce, here are six things to do if you are a victim of domestic violence.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence
1. Signs of Abuse
Unfortunately, many people today can not even tell when they are being abused. They are so used to being ill-treated they do not realize the impact of their abuser’s behaviors or tell the extent to which they are affected.
Take, for instance, a spouse who prevents you from having friends or uses hurtful remarks any time they address you may be a domestic violence perpetrator. While some signs may not be outright, most of them stand out and should not be ignored.
2. Seek Medical Care
If you sustained injuries due to domestic violence, seek medical help as soon as you can. This will help you keep your health in check and preserve any evidence you may have against your abuser. As you do this, remember to keep a recovery journal that details every step of your recovery from the injuries.
3. Prepare a Protection Plan
To secure your safety after the attack has taken place, you need to come up with a protection plan. In this plan, you may want to consider where you will escape in the event of another attack.
If you have children, where will you take them to keep them safe from the abuser? Sometimes you may need to develop such plans even before the first attack takes place in case you notice some violent tendencies in your spouse.
4. Seek Counselling
Any form of abuse can have catastrophic effects on the victims. Domestic violence is no exception. To counter these effects, it would be best to see a professional counselor. With their expertise, they may help you deal with the impact of the abuse.
If you have children, consider undergoing counseling sessions to prevent future harm from cropping from the abuse you are experiencing.
5. Report the Abuse
As soon as you can after an abuse, be sure to inform relevant authorities and any other threat the abuser imposes upon your life. Telling someone about your situation not only increases your security but also helps you share a burden that can feel insurmountable to bear alone.
6. Seek Legal Help
Since the law is against domestic violence, you can easily sue your abuser and get compensated for the trauma and injuries you suffered even as your abuser gets a heavier penalty based on their abuse intensity. Reaching out to a divorce lawyer may be the best option to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Do Not Suffer in Silence
For various reasons, many domestic violence victims have suffered in silence. However, being quiet only worsens the abuse and may put your life at greater risk. As a golden rule, report any form of domestic violence as soon as it occurs, whether you are a victim or a witness.