Domestic Violence: How to Leave a Dangerous Relationship
How to Leave an Abusive Relationship
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year. If you are in a violent relationship, seek help immediately. Cycles of violence can continue for your children that are watching the abuse. Being strong and breaking free is something that will set the course for a new life for you and them.
Here is domestic violence advice from the Tampa Police Department:
Living with the Abuser
- Make a safety plan.
- Call the police if you are being abused.
- Attend a support group, for more information about support groups in Tampa, call (813) 621-7233.
File Criminal Charge(s)
- Call the police.
- Filing a criminal charge lets the abuser know that abuse will no longer be tolerated.
- Be prepared that the police may arrest on scene.
- After the abuser is arrested they are in jail until a bond hearing is held (usually within 8-36 hours).
- Release is contingent on abuser’s good behavior.
File Injunction for Protection
- May prohibit further violent contact, order no contact, or remove the abuser from the home.
- File with the Domestic Violence Court Clerk at the main courthouse in Hillsborough County or the courthouse in Plant City.
- If the order of protection is violated by the abuser, you MUST contact the court immediately.
- Once the abuser is removed, change all the door locks.
- Make a personal safety plan for yourself and your children.
Leave the Abuser
- The Spring, Hillsborough County’s Domestic Violence Center offers private shelter to families escaping an abusive situation. Their 24-hour emergency hotline phone number is (813) 247-7233 (SAFE).
If you have chosen to leave the abuser and are ready to seek a divorce, we can help you navigate the law. You can seek a court order to prevent further abuse and to ensure a fair property and child custody distribution occurs while you are safe from violence. In domestic violence situations, there is often a coercive and threatening environment- both mentally and physically. There are resources and lawyers to help you break free and live your life with greater freedom.