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Take action against domestic violence with legal tools

"People will do what you allow them to do."

That is what one attorney said she has learned through her personal and professional experience with domestic violence. Just like many Florida victims, the woman was not a "typical" victim of domestic violence; she was an assertive, tough, tenacious attorney who would not take "no" for an answer. Still, she found that in her own home she could do little to break through the culture of abuse.

Luckily for that woman and many others throughout the state, there are a variety of legal options that can help guard against a continued experience with domestic abuse. Protective orders and temporary restraining orders can help keep victims safe as they attempt to turn their lives around after being in an abusive relationship. It may not always be easy to admit that you need to use these legal tools, but they can help keep you safe from someone who poses a physical threat. Permanent protective orders can also be issued for a long-lasting legal barrier.

The woman in this case said that most people would have never assumed that she was a victim of abuse. However, she was continually subjected to violence in her home. In one situation, an ambulance driver saw her injuries and told her that there had to be something wrong with her if she chose to stay in the relationship.

Ultimately, that woman said that her partner only did what she allowed him to do. She could have walked away, but instead she chose to stick around and condone his behavior. Instead, you can own your breakup or divorce and refuse to let it control you. Legal tools such as protective orders can help you lead the life you want, free from physical abuse.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Best Lesson I Learned From Abuse" Krista Barth, May. 19, 2014

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