California processes thousands of domestic violence cases each year, leading to broken homes or people who do not know how to how to escape an unhealthy relationship. For many, leaving an abusive relationship seems impossible or too dangerous – especially for women leaving abusive men. However, there are options for those stuck in these desperate situations. Contact a professional San Diego family attorney for legal help.
Make an Ally
Let a trusted family member, close friend, or neighbor in on your situation. Alert them to your predicament, and work out an emergency signal or code that will show them you need help. Create a plan for if you are in trouble, such as what to do with your children and which officials to notify. You can make up code words to send in text messages or do something physical, such as switching a porch light on or off.
Your ally must be on your side and know when and when not to act. He or she will understandably want to help you immediately, but for many situations, this is not feasible. Use your ally as an outside source of help: someone who can conduct research or make plans when you cannot.
Prepare for the Future
Take photos of any physical abuse, and keep a dated journal of what your spouse subjects you to. If possible, tape record threats being made or acts of verbal abuse. In the future, these pieces of evidence will greatly support a case you might make against the abuser in a court of law.
Set money aside in a place where your spouse cannot find it, or ask your ally to hold on to it for you. Pack a bag for you and your child, and keep it hidden but easily accessible. Do not forget to bring your ID, birth certificates, medications, phone chargers, and other important items. Back your car in, and leave it fueled for a quick getaway. Keep a spare set of car keys hidden.
Memorize your abuser’s habits and daily schedule to plan the best time to make your escape. Obviously, you do not want to try to leave at a time when he or she could come home and see you leaving, especially if you are taking his or her kids away, as well. Reassure your children that there will be a time when things will be different, and make sure they know that their safety comes before anything else.
Plan a Safe Exit
Planning ahead for your departure is the best way to ensure you do it safely and securely. When designing an escape, be careful using traceable technology to figure out where to go or who to contact – delete computer histories and clear phone data to make sure your plans will not be found out ahead of time.
If you have contacted anyone about your situation, make sure they know where they can reach you or what times they should call to make sure your spouse is not home. Know the phone number of a local battered shelter or similar refuge, and make sure you can get there without stopping for directions. Exit at a time when you are absolutely sure your abuser will not be near your home. Leave a false trail behind, such as information about a hotel or city in the complete opposite direction of where you are actually going. Keep your ally informed on your plans and whereabouts in case of an emergency.
Secure Legal Assistance
Your abusive spouse will enlist the help of top attorneys to represent his or her case. Do not meet them unmatched and risk custody of your child or children or assets.
Boyd Law has experienced San Diego divorce attorneys who are passionate about your personal safety and the safety of your child. You have suffered enough; it is time to lay your burden in the hands of a professional. Call us today for your free consultation.