There are many pros and cons of staying together with or divorcing a spouse, but no spouse should ever remain in a violent marriage because they are too afraid to leave. But your fears do have merit, as women who leave their abusers have 70 times the risk of being killed by their former abusive spouse or partner in the weeks that follow their exit from the relationship.
But there are ways to mitigate the dangers you face when divorcing an abusive spouse. Read on to learn how you can help yourself stay safer while seeking freedom.
Get a protective order from the courts
Here in Colorado, protective orders are often called “restraining orders.” And that is exactly their purpose — to “restrain” your abusive spouse from contacting you and getting within a certain distance of you (and sometimes your children).
What else can a restraining order do?
Restraining orders have “teeth” to them. In certain circumstances, restraining orders can even affect gun ownership rights. The judge may also order your abusive spouse to vacate the family home and to stay away from your place of business or anywhere else that you may be.
However, it should be understood that there is no piece of paper capable of preventing a violent spouse or partner from viciously attacking you — or worse. You must do all that you can in these instances to be proactive about your own safety and that of your children.
The consequences of violating a restraining order
If your abuser attempts to contact you or otherwise violates the restraining order, you can call the police to arrest them for that violation. They can be convicted and sentenced by the court. Your family law attorney is an invaluable source of information regarding how to obtain a protective order in your divorce case.