For some people, the most difficult part of getting a divorce is realizing that they need one. There are some who would argue that in no circumstance should a married couple get a divorce; they should always work through their issues. However, there are cases where staying married can put a person and families in physical and psychological danger.
Eminem and Rihanna address these exact circumstances. Their song, Love the Way You Lie, depicts domestic violence clearly and realistically. It sends out such a strong message and encompasses such an important issue that listeners begged for more--and got it. Part II is equally as powerful and revealing as the original. Not to mention equally as catchy.
Eminem and Rihanna succeeded in sending out a message about domestic violence, and were even able to do it from the point of views of the abuser and the abused. Hopefully, listeners can get a better grasp on what being abused is, so that if they are in an abusive relationship, or know somebody who is, they can take steps towards change.
It can be difficult to acknowledge that you are in an abusive relationship or marriage. For many, even if they realize what is going on, they chose to let it be. Rihanna herself knows what that is like. She only came out about her abusive relationship when a neighbor called the police on Chris Brown. If you get to a point where you determine the best thing to do is get a divorce, things do not always get easier.
In October, New York State was the last state to enact a No Fault divorce. This law allows men and women to file for a divorce without alleging grounds. For victims of abuse, the option to file for divorce on the grounds of No Fault can be a difficult one to make.
On one hand, they can save face. Although this may not seem like a good reason to file No Fault, imagine telling your spouse that you are going to blame him or her, on public record, for abuse. This can easily set off a person with a history of poor anger management. That may not be a risk many people are willing to take. For many men and women, No Fault is the only option for divorce, because they don't have proof of ever being abused. They never went to the police or a hospital and they never took pictures of the abuse.
On the other hand, some people believe that filing for a divorce on grounds of Abuse can be leverage for other aspects of the divorce. It will likely have a strong impact on issues like custody and dividing assets and liabilities. If using the grounds of Abuse will almost guarantee keeping your children safe, it may be the best option.
Domestic violence also strongly impacts one's ability to hire an attorney. A big part of domestic violence is control. If your spouse was controlling your money - and they likely were - you may feel as though you cannot afford an attorney. What does somebody do in that case? There are often divorce attorneys who specialize in these cases and are willing to work on a sliding scale.
But what if you still cannot afford a divorce? For most Americans, if attorneys are not an option, mediators are. However, it becomes difficult in the case of abuse to decide if mediation is a good idea.
Many people will tell you that mediators cannot empower an abused spouse, and, therefore, should not mediate a couple. Many mediators will end a case if they feel one spouse is overpowering or bullying the other during negotiations for this reason. Others believe that it is their responsibility to help even the playing field and will take on the case.
Some mediators even believe that in the case of domestic abuse, the biggest issues is safety, and the best way to ensure safety is to get the abused person out of that relationship as quickly as possible. Mediation tends to be quicker than divorce, so that's already a good first step. If an abused spouse is willing to give up some money that her or she may be entitled to in order to get out, then maybe that is really what's in their best interest at the moment.
Any way you look at it, deciding to divorce an abusive spouse is a difficult process. If an abused man or woman seeks out a divorce, try to understand the difficulties they will face, and support their decision. The first step may be the most difficult, but the rest of the battle is still uphill.
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