Domestic Violence, Leaving a Marriage, and Available Supports
Leaving a Florida marriage that involves domestic violence is a challenging and sensitive process, but there are professionals available to help domestic violence victims move toward safety and well-being. If you want to learn more, talk to a West Palm Beach family attorney about measures to protect oneself, available support systems, and long-term planning for a safer future.
Protect Oneself and Connect with Support Systems
The safety of the individual facing violence is of utmost importance. If immediate danger is present, contacting law enforcement or seeking shelter in a safe place is crucial. Florida has various domestic violence shelters and resources that provide emergency support and protection.
As you move through the process, if possible, gather essential documents, such as identification and financial records, and keep them in a safe and easily accessible place. These documents will be valuable for legal proceedings and establishing independence.
Part of this process could involve creating a safety plan that outlines steps to take in case of emergencies or potential escalation of violence. This plan may involve identifying safe places, establishing communication protocols, and informing trusted friends or family members.
If you need help, consider connecting with one or all of the following.
- The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-500-1119) is available 24/7 to provide support, information, and resources. Trained, compassionate individuals can offer guidance on safety planning.
- Numerous shelters and counseling services throughout Florida specialize in assisting victims of domestic violence. These organizations offer temporary housing, counseling, legal advocacy, and other resources to help survivors rebuild their lives.
- Legal support. A family lawyer who has experience in domestic violence cases can inform you of all your legal options. For example, Florida protective orders, also known as injunctions for protection against domestic violence, could be pursued. This will legally restrict contact between an abuser and their victim.
Once you are in a safe space and feel supported, you can begin the process of planning for a better future. This could include establishing financial independence by opening a separate bank account, applying for credit in your name, and creating a budget for living independently. Financial stability is a key piece of long-term independence.
Many violence victims also find it helpful to seek professional mental healthcare. Ongoing counseling and therapy can address the emotional and psychological impact of domestic violence. Therapists and support groups provide valuable resources for healing and rebuilding self-esteem.
Florida Laws Specific to Domestic Violence
A West Palm Beach family attorney can discuss Florida protection laws with you, including provisions for no contact, temporary custody, or eviction of an alleged abuser from a shared residence. Florida also imposes criminal penalties for domestic violence offenses, including assault, battery, and stalking, and individuals who are proven violators can face arrest and other legal consequences.
Do you want to talk to an expert about how to exit an abusive marriage? The legal team at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates can help you navigate the legal process, take steps to ensure your safety, and empower you to build a secure and independent future. Schedule a free initial consultation to learn more.