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Stop the Cycle of Violence by Ending an Abusive Relationship

Divorce is often a contentious event for both spouses. However, they are usually able to move on after getting the divorce over with. This is not as easy for the victims of domestic violence. Countless families are harmed by domestic abuse in Florida as well as the rest of the country, and ending an abusive relationship can be extremely difficult.

Abuse among intimate partners and families is pervasive in Florida. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, more than 3,200 victims were served by various domestic violence programs in a single day in Florida in 2013. It is difficult to imagine the scope of this tragedy on a yearly basis.

Abuse affects children for life

There are numerous obvious reasons to end an abusive relationship before it is too late, not the least of which includes protecting one's self from harm. However, children are among the most innocent victims of family abuse, and the damage can be lifelong if the abuse is not stopped.

For example, girls who have been exposed to abuse in childhood often grow up to become victims as adults, says Safe Horizon. Boys, on the other hand, are more likely to abuse their own children and spouses. For these reasons, it is imperative to protect children and end the cycle of violence by obtaining a custody arrangement that keeps them from being victimized in domestic violence disputes.

Recognizing abuse symptoms

Unfortunately, abuse often means more than bruises and other physical injuries. Many victims may not realize that their partners are abusive, particularly if the abuse is emotional or verbal. However, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical violence, says HelpGuide. In fact, it can be more difficult to recognize and can lead to the victim becoming completely dependent on his or her abuser.

The signs of emotional and verbal abuse can include:

  • A feeling of constantly "walking on eggshells" to avoid upsetting the other person
  • Threats to harm or take away the children or destroy physical property
  • Restricting the victim from access to transportation, money or communication with loved ones
  • Becoming irrationally upset or angry over the slightest provocation

It's important to realize that emotional or verbal abuse does not always stay non-violent. It is not guaranteed that a person who has never physically struck someone may not do so at any time; in fact, this likelihood may increase over time.

Developing an escape plan

Escaping an abusive relationship may be difficult, but it possible with the right support system of trusted family members, friends, law enforcement and domestic violence agencies. An escape plan should involve sharing the plan with someone who can be trusted, keeping emergency cash and belongings in a safe place, reporting attacks with the authorities and obtaining a protective order as soon as possible.

An attorney with experience in domestic violence situations can help victims receive the assistance they need to start a new life free from fear and violence.

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