How Can I Get Out of an Abusive Relationship?

There are several areas of family law that are darker than most, and one is the topic of this episode, domestic violence. If you are in one a relationship that is abusive and thinking of reaching out or know someone who is struggling to get out of an abusive relationship, today’s conversation with Jamie Sellers from Safe Alliance on how to get out of an abusive relationship will be of great interest.

Safe Alliance is a fantastic nonprofit founded in 1909 in the Charlotte area that helps people who have been subject to domestic abuse and intimate partner violence restart their life by providing them resources needed to escape their abuser and get the help they need. Safe Alliance provides an eighty-bed shelter for men, women, and children in imminent danger of domestic violence. They have two full-time staff attorneys, and about 90 pro bono attorneys provide legal assistance to those seeking a Domestic Violence Protection Orders. Safe Alliance also provides victim assistance in domestic violence courtrooms in the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. They also have a sexual trauma resource center, where counselors are on site, and provide advocacy for sexual assault victims. The most recent initiative launched by Safe Alliance is the Greater Charlotte Hope Line. That is a hotline, where people can reach out to experts trained to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and parenting.

Domestic violence is not just physical abuse or sexual assault. It also includes emotional and or psychological manipulation that form a pattern of behaviors, that evolve, to exert power and control over a partner. Domestic violence can take the form of physical, emotional, or financial isolation. Warning signs, such as quick over-involvement in your life, jealousy, or attempts to isolate a person for friends or family are often present but presented to as concern or love early in the relationship.

If the police are called to a domestic dispute, it’s important to get as much information to the officer as possible. It is good to remember that a domestic violence call is one of the most dangerous types of calls for a police officer to respond to, so it’s important to remember it is a high-stress situation for all involved.  If you are thinking about or planning to get out of an abusive relationship, Jamie offers some tips that can help. First, realizing that every situation is unique and that planning is always important. Some general tips that can apply in most situations are one, gathering copies of important documents is essential so once a person leaves they do not need to go back for anything. Next, packing a small go bag with clothes and essentials and taking notice of an abusers schedule allows a person to take an opportunity to leave. Finally, if a person is planning to leave and gets involved in a confrontation with their abuser stay away from rooms with weapons or where there is no escape.  It’s important to remember that abuse is a learned behavior. Children pick up on what happing from a very young age and can over time come to see abuse as normal increasing the risk they will become abusers or victims of abuse themselves. The younger a child can be removed from a domestic violence situation the better chance they have at not becoming involved in an abusive situation themselves.  Domestic violence that includes strangulation or choking is a particular type of abuse that has been shown to increase the risk of death more than 800% that other types of violent acts.  If you would like to speak to someone at Safe Alliance you can call the Greater Hope Line of Charlotte hotline is 980-771-4673. If you would like to learn more about Safe Alliance visit their website online at

The insights and views presented in “Welcome to Splitsville” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. If you’re ready for compassionate and reliable legal guidance on your journey through divorce, contact Leigh Sellers and her team at

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