If you’ve left your marriage because of domestic abuse, you may feel liberated and optimistic for the first time since you can recall, or you might feel scared and nervous about the future, and about your spouse finding out where you are. In reality, you probably feel a little bit of each.
Leaving a domestic abuse situation usually isn’t easy, but luckily, you can access a support system to help keep you safe and get you on your feet. There are several steps you can take to protect your privacy and safety as you begin your new life:
- Use the services of a domestic violence shelter. There are many women’s shelters in Virginia that can help you through the process of leaving an abusive relationship;
- Obtain a restraining order in Virginia against your spouse. In Virginia, it’s free to file a domestic violence restraining order;
- Keep information about your location confidential. You can apply to Virginia’s address confidentiality program, which has your mail forwarded to your current address without divulging your whereabouts;
- Cancel your old bank and credit card accounts. Open new accounts at a different bank;
- Change your phone number. Even if you’re using a cell phone and assume your spouse cannot track you, you should still change the number or get a new phone. Sometimes, an abusive partner may call to threaten or to entice you back into the relationship; and
- Change the passwords on your e-mail accounts or use a new account. Your spouse may not have your passwords, but may be able to get them. You are better safe than sorry.
For more information about coping with an abusive husband, including how to file a restraining order in Virginia, visit our article library.
At this vulnerable time, it is critical that you have exceptional legal representation that not only understands the specifics of your case, but also is dedicated to your best interests and that of your family.
The Virginia divorce attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm represent Virginia women who are facing divorce. We are committed to fighting for your rights and advocating that you receive everything you are entitled to and need in order to start your new life. You can learn more by requesting a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserving your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.