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Massachusetts divorce: Victims of domestic violence have options

It is not uncommon for victims of domestic violence to feel there is little they can do to improve their situations. Those subjected to this type of behavior often believe that they do not deserve to be treated any better, but that is simply not true. Whether a person lives in Massachusetts or elsewhere, if married to an abusive partner, it is possible to gain protection and -- if desired -- leave the situation by seeking a separation or divorce.

There are many kinds of abuses that may take place in a relationship, including physical, sexual, emotional and financial. The abuse may be committed against one's partner, children or others of significance. No matter what form of abuse is utilized, victims are often left with physical and/or psychological scars with which many may struggle to fully recover. The common effects of domestic violence include:

  • Pain
  • Injuries
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Low or loss of self-esteem

When hurting in so many ways, it may seem impossible to see or imagine a better future. However, there are numerous programs and legal services available to help victims of domestic violence, regardless of age or gender. For some, a great way to start the process of leaving an abusive situation is by seeking a restraining order. If an abuser does not comply with an order of protection, he or she may be arrested.

Along with seeking protection from an abusive spouse, it is possible to take further action to obtain a legal separation or dissolve the marriage. For a Massachusetts resident who is not quite ready to pull the plug completely, a legal separation can give an idea of what divorce may be like before he or she is ready to fully pursue such action. Whether through obtaining a restraining order or filing for separation or divorce, a victim of domestic violence does have options when it comes to the pursuit of an abuse-free life.

Source:, "Things to Know", Accessed on July 24, 2015

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