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Escaping domestic violence requires careful planning

Domestic violence is a problem affecting families in every state. Thousands of people in Charlotte, as well as across the country, are victims of violence committed by someone they should be able to trust. This is often a spouse or parent. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million adults face physical abuse by intimate partners every year. Additionally, one out of every 15 children are exposed to domestic violence.

Ending a marriage when there is domestic violence is not easy. Victims will need to carefully plan their escape to have the best chance at successfully and safely leaving their abusers. People who abuse their partners make great efforts at keeping their victims under their control and making it difficult to leave.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline has provided a list of steps that abuse victims may take to leave an abusive relationship. These include the following:

  • Keeping a journal of violent incidents and document evidence, including taking pictures of bruises and other injuries
  • Letting law enforcement know about the abuse and filing charges
  • Enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member to store emergency money, clothing and belongings without the knowledge of the abuser
  • Getting help from abuse counselors and, if necessary, staying at a domestic violence shelter

It is also important to obtain a protection order when escaping a violent partner. A protection order, also known as a restraining order, provides legal protection against an abuser approaching the victims or contacting them.

Escaping physical or emotional abuse may not be easy, but it is possible with help and support from family members, friends and law enforcement. Getting out of an abusive relationship is also essential for the safety of the children and to stop the cycle of violence.