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What to Do if You’re a Victim of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is unfortunately all too common — and many cases go unreported. If you are married to an abusive spouse, there are several steps you can take to get out of the relationship and protect yourself and your children:

  • Keep it quiet: First and foremost, never alert your abuser about your plans to leave him or her. The steps you take will need to be kept quiet until you are ultimately able to take bigger actions.
  • Contact an abuse hotline: There are various domestic abuse hotlines that can help direct you to important resources in your area to keep you safe, including shelters you can go to and stay at. If it’s an emergency situation, dial 911 immediately.
  • Have a safety plan: If you’re able to put aside money, clothing, important documents or other necessities in case you need to quickly leave, you should do so. Find a place you can stay if an emergency occurs, and loop in trusted friends or family members. It’s important to be prepared, as it’s never easy to predict how the situation could escalate.
  • Contact an attorney: A divorce attorney can provide you with important resources that will help keep you safe while also facilitating all of the legal elements associated with divorce and orders of protection.
  • Get counseling: Many domestic violence centers provide free counseling to victims. These counselors can discuss your situation with you, provide therapy and connect you to additional important resources. If you’re already working with an attorney, he or she will be able to recommend counseling programs to you.

For more information and guidance on the steps to take if you are the victim of domestic abuse, meet with a trusted Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.


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