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Dealing With Domestic Violence in Divorce

Posted on in Domestic Violence

Naperville domestic violence lawyersDivorce—without any complicating factors—can be emotionally challenging for everyone involved. If, however, you add in trauma related to domestic violence or abuse, the damage, stress, and anxiety of a divorce can be truly devastating for the victim. If you or someone you love is planning on going through a divorce in Illinois and is a victim of domestic violence, it is essential that you know how to protect yourself before, during, and after the divorce.

Domestic Violence More Common than Most Realize

According to a survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), domestic violence in divorces is more common today than they were just five years ago. In fact, 32 percent of the attorneys surveyed said they had noticed an increase in domestic violence issues, and 36 percent indicated they had seen a rise in the number of divorces involving restraining orders. More than half (63 percent) believe that domestic violence needs to be better addressed by the family court system.

What This Means for Domestic Violence Victims in Illinois

Divorce does not always end domestic violence. In fact, a study from the University of Arizona indicated that not only are victims still susceptible to abuse after divorce but an overwhelming majority of them (98 percent) actually continue to experience some type of abuse violence after the divorce is over. This is why it is so important to clearly communicate with your attorney regarding your risks now and in the future.

Overall, divorce attorneys are becoming increasingly aware of domestic violence and its prevalence. In fact, most will ask open-ended questions to determine the types and levels of risk their clients may be facing. When speaking with your attorney, it is essential that you answer these questions openly and honestly. Doing so will allow him or her to take a proactive approach when it comes to keeping you and your children safe.

Other methods that can help keep you and your children safe while going through a divorce may include:

  • Obtaining a restraining order;
  • Reporting any and all breaches of your protective order to the authorities;
  • Keeping a diary of any incidents;
  • Talking to a friend or a neighbor about the abuse and your restraining order and asking them to call either you or the police if they see anything suspicious outside of your home;
  • Contacting a domestic violence shelter, especially if you have no place safe to stay;
  • Ensuring that at least one room in your home has a lock on the inside and a telephone (or keep your mobile phone on you at all times);
  • Planning and preparing an escape route out of your home;
  • Taking a self-defense course;
  • Un-listing your home phone number or changing your cell phone number;
  • Changing your locks and not answering the door unless you know who is on the other side; and
  • Teaching your children who to call for help, where to go, and how to get out of the house if your abuser ever manages to get inside.

Contact an Attorney for Help With Your Divorce

You can also take steps toward ensuring the safety of you and your children by contacting an experienced DuPage County domestic violence attorney. At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we are devoted to helping our clients get the protection they deserve. We can also assist with all aspects of the divorce process as well. For more information, call 630-352-2240.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-mclaren/when-divorce-and-domestic-violence-collide_b_7057496.html

http://uanews.org/story/ua-study-abuse-continues-after-divorce

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