Many marriages are miserable to exist in, but for some Florida residents, their marriages can be unbearable and even dangerous. It is not always easy to escape an abusive marriage, either. Getting away from an abusive spouse usually requires a plan of escape, as well as numerous allies to assist.
It can be difficult for some people to recognize the signs of abuse. Domestic violence is not limited to being physically harmed. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an abuser may use verbal, emotional, financial and sexual tactics to keep their victims under their control. They may shout and threaten to harm their spouse or the children without actually striking out physically. They might damage or destroy personal property or hurt pets. It is also possible for a previously non-violent abuser to turn violent without warning.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline recommends that victims of abuse create an escape plan before leaving an abuser. Essential elements of an escape plan may include setting aside emergency cash, confiding the abuse in a trusted friend or family member and asking for help, learning the addresses of local shelters and seeking an order of protection before leaving.
Numerous programs and protections exist to help abused spouses and children find a path to safety and a fresh beginning. It is not recommended, and in fact may not be safe, for victims to attempt to escape on their own without the support of law enforcement, trusted loved ones, crisis counselors and legal counsel.