Tulsa Attorney BlogWhy Doesn’t She Just Leave: Domestic Violence Pt 2

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Video Transcribed: This is Oklahoma attorney Justin Mosteller with the Wirth Law Office and you’re watching part two in a multi-part series that I’m conducting on domestic violence in Oklahoma.

Now I’m a family law attorney in Oklahoma and I run into domestic violence quite a lot in my practice. One thing that I hear often is, “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” I hear that from parents of abuse victims. I hear that from well meaning but uninformed members of the public.

I even hear it from time to time from police officers who maybe haven’t gone through the training that they need to receive.

But the reason that that question, “Why doesn’t she just leave him,” is such an unfair one is that it very much over simplifies the process of leaving your abuser, because that abuser has erected a series of supports that helps he or she to control their victim.

Because as we’ve discussed in the previous installment, violence is a means into the end. The end that the abuser is seeking is control.

Maybe it’s because of their own insecurities, but they want control over their partner’s everyday life to the extent that no one else has a say in that person’s life and the victim is forced to rely entirely on the abuser. And that’s part of why it is so difficult to escape these situations.

Also, there’s threats of violence and actual acts of violence that are used to enforce the will of the abuser. The abused victim could be told that, “If you ever leave me, I’ll kill you and I’ll kill our children.”

And we all know that those threats are an idol. We see these types of things in the news every day, and if a victim genuinely fears for his or her life, that might keep them in place far longer than it should.

It takes an average of five to seven times of leaving and returning from the relationship before a domestic violence victim can transition out and actually be deemed saved.

But even then, that’s just the next phase in the control and the abuse and coercion that the other side and the abuser in this situation is going to try to use if you have children with the abuser, for instance.

Post-separation is actually one of the most dangerous times and that’s when victims are particularly at risk of harm and the children are particularly at risk of harm.

So if you were in a situation where you were trapped in a violent domestic relationship, you need help, you need to reach out to somebody.

We hope you’d trust us enough to reach out to me because I really am passionate about these issues, and I will work very, very hard to see if I can get you out of that situation and get you into a place where you can start life again and move forward, above all, safely.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to this second installment. Look forward to speaking with you in the next installment. And as always, you can reach us at (918) 932-2800. Thanks.

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