There is perhaps nothing as frightening as being in an abusive relationship, whether it is in California or elsewhere. Though someone may want to get out, they often don’t know how and fear for their own safety as well as that of their children and others. Often the situation is left to fester too long, and sometimes the results are tragic and even horrific. In matters of child custody, surely the well being of the children and their right to be free from fear of injury is paramount. No one should be made to suffer in a relationship built on fear.
But the question is how to extricate oneself from a relationship where the threat of violence hovers close to the point of reality. While in truth no one can be protected all of the time, there are important steps that can be taken to preserve well being. Consult with an attorney experienced in all aspects of matrimonial law and procedure, and with particular experience in handling abuse allegations. There is community support, and it is not necessary or even advisable to fight the fight alone. Many District Attorneys have special units to help victims of domestic violence.