Living in the aftermath of domestic violence can be a daunting challenge. Prioritizing your safety becomes paramount.
If your spouse has been abusive, take proactive steps to protect your physical and mental well-being.
Create a safe haven
Start by securing your immediate environment. Change the locks, install security systems and fortify windows and doors. Your home should be a sanctuary where you feel secure and protected from potential harm.
Reach out to trusted individuals
Building a support system is essential. Connect with reliable friends, family members or colleagues. Share your situation with them, and let them know how they can support you. Having a network of trusted people who understand your circumstances is invaluable.
Record abusive behavior
Make note of incidents of domestic violence, noting dates, times and specific details. Keep a journal or use technology to store this information securely. This documentation can be valuable if you decide to pursue legal action.
Seek legal protection
Consider obtaining a restraining order, also known as an order of protection. This legal document prohibits the abuser from contacting or approaching you. Be aware of the conditions outlined in the order and promptly report any violations to law enforcement.
Prepare a safety plan
Identify safe places to go, memorize emergency contacts and have a bag with essential items ready in case you need to leave quickly. A well-thought-out safety plan enhances your ability to respond effectively in moments of crisis.
Use support services
Engage with local advocacy groups that specialize in domestic violence. These organizations can provide resources, counseling and guidance in the aftermath of abuse. Seek assistance to regain control of your life.
Therapy and counseling can help you address the emotional toll of the experience. Surround yourself with positive influences who contribute to your healing journey.
The number of domestic abuse incidents increased by nearly 9% from 2019 to 2021 in New York. By taking practical steps and accessing available resources, you can move forward and build a life free of abuse.