If you are in an abusive marriage, you need to extricate yourself and your children from this volatile situation. That can sound a lot easier than it actually is, however. The most dangerous time for a woman in an abusive relationship is right before and just after she gets herself and the kids away from the abuser.
But once your physical safety is no longer in jeopardy, it is time to focus on the mental and emotional healing that your children (and you) desperately need.
Seek a restraining order for protection
While there is no piece of paper in the world that can prevent an act of violence from being perpetrated on a victim by their former spouse, an order of protection can be a deterrent with unpleasant consequences if it is violated. Your family law attorney can petition the court for the protective order during the divorce and custody process.
Arrange for counseling for the kids
Children can feel that their loyalties are being pulled in two directions even if they have witnessed one parent batter the other. After all, the abusive parent is still the child’s mother or father. Understanding why contact with that parent may be restricted to supervised visitation or even suspended entirely can be challenging for children during a divorce.
A counselor who works with children and adolescents whose parents have divorced can help them work through their emotions regarding their parents’ divorce and any domestic abuse they may have witnessed or experienced. Allowing your kids to express their fears, anger, sadness and the full gamut of emotions through journaling and therapy can mitigate the trauma of the divorce on their young lives.