The Difficulty of Leaving an Abusive Relationship

In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, experts explain how difficult it may be for victims of domestic abuse to leave an abusive relationship. The victims must be physically, mentally and financially ready before they can end the relationship.

According to Dawn Dalton, executive director of Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network, fear is one of the biggest reasons for not getting out. Victims are often viewed as having caused the abuse to happen with their own behavior. "There needs to be a shift in the way domestic violence is viewed so that when someone is a victim, there isn't as much shame in standing up and saying, 'I need help.'"

Victims of domestic abuse should make a safety plan before ending a violent relationship. The plan could include housing, child care and employment plans. The more resources victims have, so that they can break away, the better. It is very difficult to move out with very little money.

Ending an abusive relationship can also be dangerous. Victims should stop for a moment and think about the dangers involved. Does the aggressor leave hidden or visible bruises meaning he is not ashamed of his behavior? Does he own a gun?

There is an Illinois law that allows authorities to track offenders through GPS if they are charged with having violated orders of protection. Almost 600 offenders in Cook County have worn devices that alert officers if the offender has come within 2,500 feet of a forbidden location. The abuse victims may also carry similar devices that let them know when the offender is nearby.

If you or a loved one has encountered domestic violence, you need immediate legal advocacy for you and your children.  Don’t go through it alone. Contact an experienced Hinsdale domestic violence attorney immediately.

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