The statistics on domestic violence in the United States are alarming. It is estimated that one in four men and one in three women will experience physical violence, stalking, or rape by an intimate partner. This is a dangerous and serious situation for those dealing with abuse, and while a domestic abuse lawyer Hernando County FL can help litigate the situation to ensure the offender is prosecuted, staying safe until that time is a prime concern. It is important for anyone dealing with abuse to have a safety plan.
Devise Your Safety Strategy
Most episodes of violence occur within the home and away from where others can intervene. Because of the isolation, it is important to assess the situation as it is occurring to reduce the means of abuse that are present. For instance, if you feel that tension is building or an argument is starting to escalate, move to an area in the house where it won’t be easy to grab a weapon. These areas are generally the kitchen, garage, workshops, bedrooms, or bathrooms. If there are weapons in the house, make sure they are locked up.
Have an exit strategy from the home. Whether it be a door, window, stairwell, or elevator, you should have a path to safety planned out. This plan should include having a friend or neighbor where you can seek shelter until you are able to contact law enforcement or a family member. You can also have a neighbor alerted to the situation, informing them of a code word that signals they need to call the police.
Create an Alternate Life
No one deserves to be abused, and you may need to come to the point where you leave that life behind. Being on your own might be scary, but you should never have to live in fear of being hurt. If you are planning to leave your home and the relationship, you need to create an alternate life. Open a separate bank account in your name alone. Make a copy of all your important documents, such as insurance, license, marriage license, or any other paperwork, and leave it with a trusted friend. You should also have a “go bag” with clothes, money, extra keys, and hygiene items to leave with your confidant in case you have to leave in a hurry.
If you or someone you know is being abused, always prioritize your safety. There are hotline numbers and local resources that can help you escape from your situation, providing support and protecting your life.