Sadly, what is supposed to be a loving relationship can sometimes turn into a relationship based on threats, manipulation, and violence. Domestic violence is shockingly common across the United States. Each minute, approximately 20 people are physically abused by a spouse or romantic partner.
If you are in an abusive marriage, you are not alone. Read on to learn about some of the strategies that may help you protect yourself and your children during the divorce process.
Remember That the Abuse is Not Your Fault
Victim-blaming is a tactic that many abusive people use to try and manipulate their victims. Your abuser may tell you that his or her behavior is justified because you did something to provoke him or her. Sadly, some abuse victims start to believe this. If you are being physically, mentally, or emotionally abused, it is not your fault. You deserve to be treated with respect.
Make an Escape Plan
When leaving an abusive spouse, it is better to plan your escape in advance instead of acting impulsively. Many abusers escalate violent behavior when they find out a spouse intends to leave them. Consequently, it is crucial to have a plan in place to protect you and your children. Make sure your friends and family know what is going on and where you plan to stay once you move out. Check your phone for any spyware or applications that track your location. Change your passwords on your online accounts.
Get an Order of Protection
In Illinois, abuse victims are often able to get an Emergency Order of Protection (EOP) on the same day that they requested it. Furthermore, the definition of abuse is quite broad in Illinois. You do not have to wait until your spouse physically assaults you or your children to get an EOP. Threats, interference with personal liberty, and harassment also qualify as abuse. An EOP will require your spouse to stay a certain distance away from you and your children. It can also require him or her to move out of your home. If your spouse tries to contact you or violates any of the other EOP provisions, call the police. Violating an EOP is a criminal offense for which he or she may be arrested and placed in police custody.
Contact a DuPage County Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you are ready to divorce an abusive spouse, contact the skilled, compassionate Naperville divorce lawyers at Goostree Law Group for help. Our team can help you get an EOP and address divorce issues like child custody and property division. Call [630-364-4046 for a free, confidential consultation.