I have been in a relationship for ten years. I have three children. The relationship has not been good because there has been physical and verbal abuse, even in front of my children. I don’t want to continue in this relationship. I need a lot of help.

Dear Friend,

We are very sorry to hear what you have been going through. We certainly can understand why you don’t want to continue the relationship.

What is it, then, that is keeping you from getting away? Some common reasons are the lack of financial resources, the fear of what might happen, and the shame that might come from what other people think. It is also common for the victim of abuse to have been so denigrated and humiliated by the abuser that the victim no longer believes herself (or himself) capable of making good decisions.

All of these are important factors to be considered. However, there are some even more menacing factors that you must seriously consider. What would your children’s lives be like if you were no longer alive to care for them? An abuser is sometimes just a couple of steps away from becoming a murderer.

Your current situation is sad for you, but even sadder for your children. The longer they see you being abused, the more likely they are to think that it is normal for that kind of violence to occur in the home, and therefore to grow up and perpetrate, or be the victims of, violence in their own homes. We know that you don’t want that.

The laws and social services of each country are different, so you will need to research them and then visit the appropriate offices of your government. Even though you are not married to this man, it is likely that a court would order him to make child support payments for each child of yours whose biological father he is. In many countries, there are social workers who will help you if you do not have the funds to hire an attorney.

There is a lot to consider, and it is probably overwhelming. You can’t do it alone. Do you have friends and family who will help? Even if you do, you also need the strength and wisdom that only God can give you.

God is not some harsh judge who is waiting to punish you for the ways that you have broken His laws. Instead, He is a loving Heavenly Father who is longing to have a personal relationship with you. He already paid the price for your sins by sending his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. Now you just have to accept what Christ has done for you and ask God to forgive you in Christ’s name. That name is the only key that opens the door to a relationship with God. Once you walk through it, He will help and guide you through all the steps that you need to take.

We wish you the best,