For those who have spent too long with an abusive partner, it can be difficult to find the courage to leave. You may feel financially or emotionally dependent on your spouse. You could also be afraid for your physical safety, as well as that of your children. At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we understand that finding freedom from an abusive spouse can be hard and even dangerous. We are prepared to answer the questions of Illinois residents hoping to put some peace and safety back into their lives.
Before leaving an abusive spouse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline recommends you create an escape plan, which may help you get emotionally, financially and physically prepared to survive away from your abuser. If possible, you may want to learn new job skills or put away some emergency money in a safe place unknown to your partner. You should also document evidence that you are being abused, which can be helpful when seeking an order of protection from the court.
An order of protection can be invaluable when you are ready to leave. This is a court-ordered document that prohibits an accused abuser from contacting or going near his or her victims while the order is in effect. You and your spouse will later have the opportunity to tell your sides to a judge, who may determine to extend the protective order. If your spouse violates a protective order, he or she may be arrested.
Leaving an abuser can be a delicate process, and you may need assistance from others to succeed, including law enforcement and a family law attorney with experience in domestic violence cases. Our page on orders of protection explains more.