Protecting Yourself with a Protective Order in Cases of Domestic Violence

Sometimes divorce happens.  It could be because one spouse is unfaithful, the couple fights all the time about money, or a myriad of other reasons. Unfortunately, in many of the saddest and ugliest cases I’ve seen, a relationship is brought to an end because one partner is physically or emotionally abusive to the other. More than 10 million men and women are victims of domestic violence every year in the U.S. and the numbers are disproportionately high in Texas.

If your spouse is violent, controlling, or abusive, I’ve compiled a list of domestic violence statistics, warning signs, and the steps you should take to protect yourself and your kids during the divorce process.

Know the facts:

  • Domestic violence is defined as a systematic pattern of power and control through willful physical or sexual violence, threats, intimidation, and emotional abuse done by one partner against another.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men report being victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their life.
  • 24-50% of disputed custody cases involve domestic violence.
  • 1 in 15 children is exposed to domestic violence each year.
  • Studies have shown a correlation between intimate partner violence and depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Between 21-60% of domestic violence victims lose their jobs due to repercussions from the abuse.
  • Learn more from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Warning signs:

Your partner…

  • Shows extreme jealousy when your time is spent away or with other friends and family
  • Is very controlling with how your money and time are spent
  • Constantly insults or degrades you
  • Intimidates you with threats, weapons, or physical violence
  • Discourages you from seeing people or doing things you want to do
  • Threatens to harm or actually harms your children or pets

Protective steps:

  • First and foremost, you need to get a Protective Order in the works. This orders the abuser to cease all interaction with you and your children and alerts the police to the danger of the abuser.
  • Report any family violence immediately. This (1) can eliminate the waiting period that precedes a divorce hearing and (2) can affect any custody or support agreements.
  • Seek counseling during this difficult time. Domestic abuse can have long-lasting psychological effects on you or your children.

We believe in being a resource for survivors of domestic violence going through a divorce and are dedicated to working tirelessly to ensure their safety and wellbeing. That’s why North Texas Family Lawyers is a proud sponsor of Denton County Friends of the Family. Friends of the Family is a local organization committed to providing compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. They promote safety, healing, and prevention throughout the Denton County community. We encourage anyone in need of support to reach out to them for help. We also invite our friends and clients to join us in supporting this organization and the fine work they are doing.

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