For those trapped in abusive relationships, it may be difficult to decide how to leave those relationships. Outsiders will often just say that they need to get divorced immediately — as if it's that easy. Unfortunately, there are usually a lot of complications — not least of which is the abused person's fear of the abuser. This can be even more problematic if children are involved.
When you read about the top reasons for divorce, though, you often see things like infidelity or financial stress. How often does domestic violence actually play a role?
One out of every five marriages involves domestic violence
How often people cite domestic violence in divorce cases is unclear, but some estimates say that it happens in about one out of every five marriages — or 20% of marriages in the United States. Experts consider this to be very common, and it is true that many of these individuals stay together despite the abuse. For others, abuse eventually leads to the end of the relationship.
One important thing to remember is that the 20% statistic cited above only applies to physical violence. It does not consider emotional abuse or mental abuse. In some cases, even those being abused do not fully realize that is what is happening to them. There are also plenty of instances where emotional or verbal abuse turn out to just be the beginning, and things do wind up physical before the marriage ends.
Help when getting out of an abusive marriage
Getting out of a relationship like this can be stressful and complex. Make sure you have the help you need and that you understand your legal options. An attorney can often provide the resources and support that can make the difference.