Seven Things Women Need to Know When Divorcing an Abuser

04-20-2017 8:36 AM

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This is my third post from Lundy Bancroft’s online seminar. Lundy is an internationally acclaimed author and speaker on domestic abuse and child maltreatment. I participated in his online seminar based on his 2003 best-selling book, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry Men.

If you missed the first and second post, go back and check them out. We’ve had a great response from readers and domestic violence shelter personnel. We have many topics left to cover, so stayed tuned for future posts!

Seven Things Women Need to Know When Divorcing an Abuser

  1. Find other women who have gone through or going through a similar situation. You will need friends who know what it’s like to navigate the same difficulties — such as a restraining order. Look for domestic violence support groups.

  2. Seek to repair friendships and relationships with family that may have been strained because of the abuse. Isolation is one of your worst enemies.

  3. Choose an attorney with domestic violence experience when that’s possible.

  4. If there’s a custody battle, try to get your attorney to look at the research surrounding abusers as parents. Lundy wrote The Batterer As Parent in 2011 for this very purpose.

  5. If you have children, strengthen your relationship with them.

  6. Psychological evaluations won’t be helpful — for you or him. The evaluators aren’t trained to look for abuse, so the evaluations often come back to hurt the woman. The evaluator will often find trauma with the woman, which translates into psychological issues.

  7. Be kind to yourself. That may mean more exercise, better food, more sleep, etc.

If you are a domestic violence counselor or a woman who has gone through this, let us hear from you. Can you add to this list?

Stacy Graves is contributing editor of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ blog. You can connect with her at, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest.