If you have a spouse who is abusive, you have probably thought about running away just so you don't have to deal with the abuse any longer. When you think about leaving, you might start to get worried about how your spouse will react to you making that choice. The sad fact is that many abusive spouses will react in a violent manner if they know their victim is going to stand up and leave them. If you are planning on leaving an abusive spouse, you must make your plans carefully so that you can try to remain as safe as possible.
One way that you can try to protect yourself from an abusive spouse when you decide to walk away from the marriage is to get a restraining order. This order sets specific guidelines for your spouse. It will order him or her to avoid contacting you or coming near to you. If your spouse doesn't follow the orders and comes around you, they might face criminal charges.
You should understand what it means to be abused if you want to file for a restraining order. Being abused doesn't mean that you have to be physically hurt, although that is one possible type of abuse. It can also mean that your spouse was doing things that put you in fear of being harmed. It can also mean that your spouse was attempting to harm you.
It is especially important for you to seek out a restraining order if you have children. Even if your spouse hasn't done anything to the children, it is your duty to keep them safe.
Source: Transition House, "Restraining Orders," accessed July 29, 2016