When your spouse begins to scream and yell at you, you often feel that you have to stand and take it. You stay calm. You do what you can to defuse the situation.

The last time that happened, he became physical for the first time. Now, you want to get out of your home.

Can you flee with your children if you think you’re at risk of harm?

If you and your children are in danger, then it makes total sense for you to flee the situation with them. You should inform your attorney on what you plan to do and reach out to your local police to make a report. The other parent may be a danger to you or to others, so if you feel that you are at risk, it’s important to get these other parties involved.

If you fear for your safety or the safety of your dependents, then you should take legal action. You can secure a protection from abuse order (PFA) or take other action to protect yourself. Reaching out to the police may need to be your first step.

If you’re divorced, can you withhold custody over fears of violence?

You can, but if you do, make sure you have the evidence that is needed to back up your case. For example, if you have threatening messages on your voicemail, keep them. If you have threatening emails or videos of violence, keep them for the court. You don’t want to look like you’re withholding custody unfairly, which is how it may appear if you aren’t cautious about retaining as much evidence as you can.

If you believe that you or a loved one are in immediate danger, make sure you call 911 and alert the authorities as soon as you can. The authorities and your attorney both take this situation very seriously, so it is important that you take steps to inform them if you are hurt or threatened. No one deserves to live in fear, and you have a right to live in a home without violence.