If you're the victim of domestic violence, and you've decided to file for divorce, there are some steps you should take to ensure your safety. You need to know that physical violence can escalate once your spouse knows that you plan on leaving. You don't have to go through this alone. You'll need to contact a divorce attorney as soon as possible. Here are some additional things you should do as soon as you decide to file for divorce.
Obtain Medical Documentation of Your Injuries
When you're the victim of domestic violence, it's natural to hide your injuries. However, that is the worst thing you can do. If your spouse has injured you, you need to seek medical care. A medical care provider will document your injuries, no matter how minor they are. When it's time to go to court, you're medical records will serve as evidence of the abuse.
Take Photos of the Injuries
Bruises fade, but photographs last a lifetime. Take a picture of every bruise or mark on your body. If they are in locations that you can't reach, have a trusted friend or family member take pictures for you. Document the time and date that the injuries occurred, and store your photographs in a safe location.
In addition to photographs, if you have injuries that interfere with your ability to move, or that are causing you pain, have someone document the injuries with a video. The video will provide evidence supporting the extent of your injuries, and how those injuries have affected you. Your attorney will need those photographs and videos for your divorce.
Join a Support Group
You may be embarrassed to discuss your situation with strangers – and that's normal. However, a support group can help you overcome the emotions you're experiencing. If you're unsure of how to find a support group in your community, ask your attorney. Most domestic violence shelters have support groups within the shelter. If you've fled to a shelter, take advantage of the support groups and counseling services that are provided. Your attorney can also help you locate additional services that are available to you.
Domestic violence is a serious matter. You don't have to remain silent. If you're a victim, you need to know that help is available. Be sure to sit down with your attorney as soon as possible. The steps outlined above will help you get out of the abusive situation safely. (For more information, contact Binsky Whittle or another company)
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