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Question
Posted by: blue eyes | 2011-06-08

verbal abuse

After years and years of verbal abuse from my husband i have decided to file for a divorce as it became unbearable for me to stay married to him. Lawyers fees have cost me R20k thus far. The case seems to be dragging on and on. He is now in the being spiteful stageof the game. (Slamming doors etc.) My lawyer says I must not move out of the house until the divorce has been finalized. ( I have been married for 45 years).

Am I doing the right thing by staying or should I move?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Any kind of abuse is unacceptable and my question is, why having waited 45 years?!
I'm guessing that the abuse was very mild at start and you thought you could either put up with it or change it, but what I'm understanding from your email, this has been escalating for 45 years.
It is understandable that you've had enough but walking out after 45 years is not an easy thing to do. It is important that you think of your safety and happiness and that you have some sort of support in place to make the move.
Unfortunately, most lawyers are going to make a case of your conflict. Extending the divorce process is in their interests.
As for staying in the house it really depends on whether you think you are safe or not. You could also apply for a restraining order.
"If you are the victim of domestic abuse and your abuser is someone with whom you are in a domestic relationship, you may apply for a protection order, in terms of the Domestic Violence Act. A protection order has conditions, which set out what the abuser may not do. Should the abuser break these conditions then he can be arrested. Domestic abuse' includes:

physical abuse
sexual abuse
emotional abuse
verbal abuse
psychological abuse
economic abuse
intimidation
stalking
damage to property
when you are not living together, entering your property without your permission.
any other controlling behaviour that may cause harm to your safety, health or well-being."

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