Domestic violence is a massive issue that affects thousands of Australians every single year. As a victim of domestic violence, it can be hard to know what to do to move on with your life, especially if you have children with or are married to the person who has abused you.
Once you’ve dealt with the criminal side of things, it’s a good idea to speak with a family lawyer to sort out things like child disputes and, if you’re married, a divorce. They will be able to help you put your affairs in order so that you can move on with your life quickly with minimum fuss.
Start by distancing yourself from your abuser
One of the biggest mistakes that people make as victims of domestic violence is that they remain in a relationship with, or at least in close contact with their abuser. This is a terrible idea, because it usually leads to ongoing abuse, and can reduce your confidence and compound what’s already a bad situation.
Ultimately, you should distance yourself from your abuser as soon as you possibly can.
- If you were living with them, then you should move out and get your own place. If you can’t afford to get your own place immediately, then try and stay with a friend or a family member for a while.
- Try and cut financial ties with them. If you were a stay at home parent relying on them to supply for the family, this can be difficult. But, it’s still worth doing.
- Above all, don’t remain in a physical relationship with them.
Once you’ve done this, you can start to move on with your life, and this is where a family lawyer can be useful.
How can a lawyer help?
Employing the services of a family lawyer can help you put your life back together once you’ve left an abusive relationship. A lot of domestic abuse victims lack self-confidence, which makes them susceptible to emotional and intellectual manipulation by their former partner.
Using a family lawyer can help you:
- File for divorce if you were married, and want to terminate the relationship permanently.
- Help you settle your finances, especially if you had joint bank accounts or relied on your former partner for money.
- Sort out child custody issues. If your former partner was abusive, then the chances are that you will be awarded custody of any children you had together. An experienced family lawyer will make sure that this happens.
As you can imagine, family lawyers deal with domestic violence situations regularly. This means that they will often have the skills and experience to help you put your life back together, no matter how bleak the situation seems.
Domestic violence situations can be both emotionally and physically draining. It’s important to distance yourself from your abuser as soon as possible and surround yourself with a support network of friends and family members. Following this, you should speak with a family lawyer to find out how they can help you get your life back on track.