Staying safe when domestic violence strikes

When you're the victim of physical domestic violence, experts note that there's nothing more important than making sure you're safe. The first thing you're advised to do when you think you're in danger is simply to call the police. They can help to put a stop to the violence, make an arrest if necessary, and gather evidence.

After that, it's wise to turn to your friends and family members for support. Many people are repeatedly victimized because they don't feel like they have anywhere else to go, and a support system can eliminate this problem.

Remember, leaving your home may not feel fair and just, and it isn't. It absolutely isn't. That's your home, too, and you have a right to be there. However, it can be better to grit your teeth and find a safe place to go while everything gets sorted out, than to stay because it's unfair to leave.

When you're safe, then you can concentrate on making sure that things are fair. You can get a protective order, if necessary, that keeps the abuser away from you so that you can live in your home without stress or anxiety. You may be able to pursue criminal charges. If you're married, you can find out what steps to take to get a divorce and put an end to this for good.

Those are your options to make sure life is fair, but the legal process does take time in Arizona. While you navigate it with the help of your legal team, your safety still has to be your top priority. Concentrate on that and trust that everything else will fall into place in time.

Source: Domesticvilence.org, "What Can I Do To Be Safe?," accessed May 25, 2016

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