In some instances, victims of domestic violence feel cornered in the situation because they lack resources to move out and start afresh or they have children or sometimes because they fear what the perpetrator might do to them if they choose to leave.
Many cases of domestic violence remain unreported for different reasons. Some victims hold on hoping that their significant other will change, others, choose to stay silent because of the fear of being judged by others. There’s also another group of victims who want out but are scared of what awaits them on the other side – mainly if the abuser was the breadwinner.
The equation becomes even more complicated when there are children involved in the process. Many victims choose to stay in an abusive relationship just so that their children can grow in a complete family.
While all the above reasons are justified, it is not okay to keep up with an abuser. It is important for the victims to understand that a lot can be done to help them have a smooth transition from their abusive marriage or relationships, into a safe and free world. It’s also essential that they know an abuser is a lawbreaker, who needs to face prosecution.
What should a domestic violence victim do?
Abusers are people that the victims know and sometimes, even trust. Already as it is, it is difficult for victims to come to terms with the fact that someone they trust can be the one who causes them more harm. But surprisingly, reporting the case is way more difficult than them trying to wrap their heads around the violence.
However, it is recommended that the victims call the police if they are subject to threats of violence or physical violence. Furthermore, they also should consider hiring a domestic violence attorney, who can help in a lot of different ways, as highlighted below.
Get a restraining/protection order in place: This is especially important for victims who fear that the abuser might find and hurt them after they report the case. This order prohibits the abuser from coming closer to the victim, making contact or possessing firearms. In some cases, the protection order will need that the perpetrator moves out of the house shared with the victim.
Work to help the victim get custody of the kids: There’s always a lot of traction when kids are involved because both parents might want custody. So, if the abuser is the kid’s parent, then a domestic violence attorney will work to help the victim get custody of their children and financial support from the abuser.
File domestic violence lawsuit: This lawsuit allows the victim to be compensated for any financial loss, medical expenses or suffering and pain that arise from the violence.
File a divorce: If the victim wants out of the marriage, then the domestic violence attorney will help them through the divorce process. They’ll also ensure that the victim gets their share of marital property and spousal support.