Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Abuse
By Space Coast Daily // June 12, 2020
Sadly, domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual violence are global problems that affect far too many people. The consequences of abuse can be really awful including serious injury, mental and psychological health damage, and even death.
The problem of abuse is further propagated by the sad fact that it so often goes unreported by victims who may be too afraid to report the violence or are ashamed about the stigma of abuse.
When there are children involved in the abuse, this can make it even more difficult to leave the abuser out of fear for the children’s safety or an unwillingness to take children away from one of their parents.
If left unchecked, domestic violence often escalates to a point where victims can be permanently injured or even killed. Getting yourself out of a domestic violence situation can be very difficult, but there are steps that you can take that can help to keep you safe.
For all the victims of this most awful crime, this article is a guide to things you can do to protect yourself from abuse.
Call the Authorities
If you are a victim of abuse, one of the most effective steps you can take is to call the appropriate authorities. This is usually the police, but you could also call a domestic violence hotline or a child abuse hotline if you are being by a parent, guardian or someone else.
Whilst this is a very effective way of gaining protection, it is not always an easy thing for victims to do. Many abusers exert an enormous amount of control over their victims who are often too scared or too ashamed to report the person who is abusing them.
Unfortunately, this leads to a huge number of abuse cases going unreported, which allows the abuse to continue, the victim to continue suffering, and the abuser to carry on with their horrible crime.
Calling the authorities will give you the opportunity to get yourself out of an abusive situation once and for all and will enable you to start the process of protecting yourself from further abuse.
Seek Legal Help
Many victims of abuse feel totally alone and isolated either through fear of their abuser or by their abuser deliberately cutting them off from their friends, family and other support networks.
Victims become convinced that there is no one out there who will be able to help them so they don’t try to reach out. It is so important however to understand that you are not alone and that there are people who are willing and able to help.
Reaching out to a lawyer who specializes in abuse cases is one way to seek immediate protection from an abuser because they will know the exact steps to take to ensure that you are removed from the abusive situation or that the abuser is taken into custody straight away.
There are many abusers who deliberately restrict their victims’ access to money in order to trap them. Because of this, victims of abuse are often reluctant to seek legal help because they are worried about the costs.
There are many charities who help the victims financially and there are also specialized legal teams who will represent victims pro bono.
Get an Injunction Against the Abuser
One of the best options you have to protect yourself from an abuser is to take out an injunction against them. An injunction is essentially a restraining order that prohibits your abuser from coming near you or trying to get into contact with you.
Thomas Feiter from the Fighter Law Firm says that injunctions, or restraining orders, are often used in cases of domestic violence. As well as domestic violence injunctions there are repeat violence injunctions, sexual violence injunctions, and stalking injunctions.
The exact circumstances of your case will dictate which type of injunction you should seek and your legal team can help to advise you.
There are two different types of injunction, temporary and permanent. Temporary injunctions are placed in order to keep victims safe from their alleged abusers whilst waiting to go to trial or whilst the police are investigating the situation. A judge can then remove this injunction or can change it into a permanent injunction which will protect the victim indefinitely.
Speak to Your Friends or Family
If you are too afraid to reach out to the police or other authorities then another thing you can do to protect yourself from abuse is to speak to your friends and family.
Unfortunately, there are many victims of abuse whose friends and family have no idea what is happening to them which leaves the victims feeling isolated and helpless.
This is often the intention of their abuser who will take steps to alienate their victims and cut off any channels that they could reach out to for help. Speak to a friend or family member that you trust and they will be able to help you get out of your abusive situation.
They can call the authorities for you to alleviate your fears of your abuser catching you doing it. Ask your loved one to contact the police and tell them about your situation and about how scared you are, and the police will work out a way to come and help you without putting you in further danger.
One thing that you can do is create a code with your friends or family which will alert them that you are in danger. This can be any innocuous-sounding things like asking them about their pet or their car so that they know you need help but your abuser isn’t alerted to what you are doing.
The effects of abuse on its victims can be so serious and can cause irreparable physical, emotional, and mental harm. The intimidation and control that abusers often use to control their victims means that so many cases go unreported.
If you are a victim of abuse it is so important that you seek help and take the correct steps to protect yourself before it is too late. Take the advice in this article into consideration and remember that you are not alone. Reach out to friends, family or the appropriate authorities as soon as possible so you can be free from this terrible situation.