Do you know your legal and moral responsibility to your kids, especially if you’re being abused by your spouse? First off, know that your kids are also being abused even if the abuse is only directed towards you. The reason is that you’re allowing them to live in an abusive and violent environment.
Your Legal and Moral Responsibilities
Exposure to domestic abuse and violence has long-term effects on kids, so it’s your responsibility to protect them from these potential effects. In some states, letting kids see or hear domestic violence is a form of maltreatment. You could even have your kids taken away if you fail to protect them from hearing or seeing what your abusive spouse does to you.
According to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), every state has its own laws and corresponding penalties for parents who don’t report child abuse. Depending on the gravity of your situation, you could lose your kids, spend time in jail, or pay a hefty fine. Child abuse and domestic abuse isn’t a simple matter and you will need the right support system so you could get yourself and your kids out of this dangerous situation.
Studies show that kids become emotionally and psychologically damaged every time they witness abuse in their own house. This would leave them feeling emotionally deprived and over time, feel that abuse is a normal part of marriage. Don’t let this happen to your kids; do something about your situation right away.
What You Should Do
The first thing you have to do is to stop denying that you’re being abused and accept that you need to leave your spouse as quickly as you can. Get the right support by being in touch with local domestic violence support groups or shelters and go to counseling with your kids. If you’re planning to divorce your spouse, find a divorce attorney in Denver who offers free consultations to see what your legal options are.
Resist the urge to let your spouse sway you into staying, even if they promise to receive treatment. You and your kids will need enough time to process everything and staying with your spouse will be counterproductive to what you’re trying to do. Remember your kids above everything else and get out of that abusive relationship.