Experiencing harm, violence and manipulation from someone you loved and trusted can cause you to feel trapped. Leaving the situation seems even more impossible when your abuser takes legal action against you after you stood up for yourself.
Domestic violence is about exerting power and control over a partner. Filing a lawsuit is a way for abusers to maintain dominance over the people they’ve been hurting even after the relationship is over.
What you need to know before responding to a lawsuit
The prospect of facing a lawsuit when you are a survivor of domestic violence can be intimidating, frustrating and frightening. However, it’s important to respond carefully.
Abusers know how overwhelming the situation can be for survivors, doing whatever they can to inflict damage. Survivors sometimes face financial hardship as a result.
Limit social media usage
Be mindful of your words and actions. If you use social media, consider avoiding posts that describe your abuse or reveal your abuser’s identity. Also, choose your words carefully when speaking to your abuser or others you know.
Speaking out of anger is normal, but saying things you don’t mean can backfire. Negative language can reflect poorly on you during legal proceedings.
Consider speaking to a lawyer if your former partner threatens you with a lawsuit. You may have to appear in court to defend your side. An experienced domestic violence attorney can stand up for you and guide you so can avoid making crucial legal mistakes.
Additionally, a lawyer can connect you with available resources if you need immediate help.
Feeling helpless and exhausted from being under constant threat, especially from someone you had a relationship with, is completely understandable. But if you’re in a situation like this, know you’re not alone. Organizations and compassionate people are ready to stand by you and provide the support you need to overcome this obstacle.