When In an Abusive Relationship,
Protect Yourself With a Paper Trail!
When in an abusive relationship, it is very important for your future that you have Domestic Violence Proof or a Paper Trail of Abuse.
This is one of the tips that I shared in my last blog post, “Victim of Domestic Abuse? Protect Yourself Against False Allegations!”
One of the things that you can do is keep a journal. Keeping a journal can be helpful in many ways such as, it can help you have a way to vent. When you don’t have anyone else to tell, the act of writing in a journal can be helpful to you. However, you will also want to be strategic.
This can also be helpful to open your eyes to denial.
Often times women come to group in denial about their situation. They down play the abuse that they have been experiencing. In group, we do our part by asking questions and getting them face the abuse they have experienced. At times when they have to get a lawyer they will be asked to write down things they have experienced. It never fails, this opens their eyes. There is just something about writing something down. Keeping a journal that you can look back on will help keep it real.
Most important, a journal can be used as a paper trail of the abuse.
This is why you should also be strategic in writing in a journal. Not only do you want to be careful how you write about your self, you also want to make sure you write down all the important information. Often, abusers will try to make their victim look like they are crazy in some way. Just think about that when you are writing. You don’t want your abuser to get a hold of your journal and try to twist what you say. However, if you keep a well documented journal, he will not want anyone to see it anyway because of the information it will contain about him.
So, what information should you include.
To begin, make sure you write about every single incident. If you are reading this and never kept a journal, begin by writing as much detail about the past as you can remember. Than continue to write about each incident.
Always start with the full date that it happened. (mm/dd/yy)
Include how it started, what was the trigger? Write a detailed account of what was said and done and how it ended. It would also be helpful to write about how scared you felt. Did you feel like he was going to kill you? Write it down! Get graphic and include every detail. Think about, if a judge was reading this, would he get a sense of what you were going through or not?
Medical Records is another way to have proof with a paper trail.
See a trusted doctor and be honest… Your doctor will document each time you visit and what you have told him. This is huge…..be honest, be honest, be honest!!!! Don’t be ashamed, it could save your life.
File a police report!
Sadly, this is not done so much. If the police get called, then file a report, If they feel there was abuse, they can file charges if you do not, at least in Missouri they can and I believe many other states as well.
Fill it out with every detail possible, and follow through. If you are filing for a restraining order, you know you are not safe. Many times victims do not follow through after they get a temporary order so I am encouraging you to please….follow through. I see it over and over again where this happens and the victims always regret not keeping it.
It is always important to think of your safety first. When keeping these records, I recommend putting all of these documents or as many as you have in one file/binder and keep them in a safe place that your abuser will not find.
I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions, need someone to talk or just need prayer. Please contact me on my at the top of my blog.
Peace and Blessings,