Living with a partner who engages in domestic violence is not only unhealthy, but also dangerous. Unfortunately, it is common to hear that one party in a relationship is physically or psychologically abusive to their partner. Did you know that “one in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner” [Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence]? In fact, domestic hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls on a typical day and it is estimated that “over 5,000 adult women per year living in Louisiana will experience domestic violence.”
As difficult as it can be to live with someone who is physically assaulting you, sexually assaulting you, or displaying other forms of abusive behavior, it is sometimes even more difficult to get out of the relationship which is why many victims never do. While some are afraid of how their spouse will react, others know what consequences they will be up against should they decide to try and leave. Therefore, if you have a family member who is wanting to file for divorce from their abusive spouse, but they are fearful of going through with the process, there may be a way for you to help them.
The first thing you are going to need to do is contact the Baton Rouge, LA divorce lawyers at Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf. If your relative is limited in how they can communicate or aren’t able to communicate at all, it may be a difficult process to get the divorce finalized, however, we can help them take the necessary steps to get out of the relationship and away from their abusive partner. Because abusive relationships are like a ticking time bomb as you never know when one incident might escalate into something more serious, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can intervene and begin providing your relative with the help and support they need.
How can I support my relative who is living in an abusive relationship?
Aside from contacting our office so that one of our experienced and dedicated divorce attorneys can begin helping your relative, you can provide them with additional support as well. Some things The National Domestic Violence Hotline recommends you do include:
- Acknowledge the situation they are in and be there to support and listen to them. Some ways you can do this include:
- Let them know they are not the cause of the abuse.
- Reassure them that they aren’t alone and that there is help and support out there.
- Let them know that you are available to talk and be understanding when they find it difficult to discuss the issue.
- Don’t be judgmental. Be respectful of your family member’s decisions despite the conditions they allow themselves to live under.
- Remain supportive even after they end their relationship. If your family member is able to go through with the divorce, be understanding to when they feel sad or lonely as this is normal behavior for some domestic violence victims. The National Domestic Violence Hotline says that they will need time to mourn the loss of the relationship and will need your support during this time.
- Help them develop a safety plan. It is important that you assist them “wherever they are in their relationship – whether they’re choosing to stay, preparing to leave, or have already left.”
- Encourage them to speak with others who can provide them with help and guidance. There are domestic violence agencies located all around the U.S. and you can find one closest to you by calling 1-800-799-7233.
- Remember that you are not able to rescue them. It can be extremely dangerous for you to intervene in a relationship where abuse is occurring so it is best that you be there for your relative and help them “find a way to safety and peace.”
Now, if you are ready to get connected with one of our trusted divorce lawyers in Baton Rouge to learn more about how our office can help you and your family member, call us today at 225-343-2205.
You can reach Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf at:
3960 Government Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70806