Anyone can become a victim of domestic violence in Virginia, whether rich or poor, male or female. However, no one deserves abusive treatment, especially at the hands of a loved one. We at the law firm of Schmergel and Mersberger understand that it can be difficult to make the decision to leave. Once you make the decision, the next step is to plan carefully how you are going to leave.

First, decide where you will go and how you will get there. According to WebMD, this may involve hiding a set of car keys from your partner in case he or she tries to prevent you from going. Once you have left the home, there are shelters available that will take in victims of domestic violence. Otherwise, you can also go to the home of a friend or a family member.

Before you leave, you should pack a bag of the essentials that you will need. Examples include the following:

  • Medicines
  • Extra clothes
  • Money
  • Important papers
  • Keys

It may not be a good idea to keep this bag at your home. You may need to store it somewhere safe instead. A friend’s house may be a good option.

In an emergency situation, you may need to call the police. Your partner may try to prevent you, so you need to plan for this situation beforehand. You can make up a code word and communicate it to people you are close to, such as co-workers, friends or family. If they hear you say the code word, they will know that you are in danger and need police assistance, but your partner will not know that you are sending a covert message.

Unexpected circumstances may arise, so it is important to plan for contingencies. More information about domestic abuse is available on our website.