Few life events are as emotionally draining as divorce. When one partner’s intentions become dark and threatening, they could end up blurring the lines between healthy aggression and physical and mental abuse. If you are going through the separation process and are receiving threats and or physical blows from your partner, it is important for you to take action to protect yourself and your children. Many children who witness one of their parents suffering abuse from the other develop behavioral issues and are more likely to become victims of abuse themselves in the future.
Divorce that involves domestic abuse is often full of unique challenges that can create complications that put you and your kids at further risk of harm. Consider the following pointers to keep the situation from escalating further.
Inform the police
As much as it may pain you to speak up, do it. Contact law enforcement and let them know about your situation. Inform them your partner is mentally or physically harming you and endangering your children. Have them take photos of any signs of physical trauma you may have and to include them, along with specific verbal threats your partner has used against you, in the police report. Depending on the seriousness of the matter, you might find it beneficial to get an order of protection to help protect you and the kids from your spouse.
Get professional help
The impact of abuse is not always obvious and can manifest in many physical and psychological ways. Even if your children were not on the receiving end of the trauma, they may still suffer from the effects of the trauma. Professional therapy and legal counsel can help you to navigate the unique challenges that divorcing an abusive spouse brings. An attorney can also help you to deal with issues that may make your spouse act more inappropriately and threatening towards you and your children, e.g. child custody and spousal support.