Leaving a violent relationship can be difficult and frightening and it can leave you feeling as though you are all alone. Sadly, many people who leave violent spouses find themselves returning to the relationship because of lack of support or a feeling that they can't make it on their own. The first few days after leaving are crucial, and it's important to speak to the right people who can help you with advice and practical measure to ease you through the transition period. Here are three phone calls that you need to make in the first few days after leaving.

1. Phone a lawyer

Getting legal advice from a solicitor, such as Nikolovski Lawyers, is essential. The right lawyer can help you to identify your rights to property and possessions and any concerns over child custody. They can also act as a point of contact with your spouse so that you don't have to deal with them directly.

You may be eligible for free legal advice through legal aid. Each State has their own legal aid commission and conditions may vary slightly from state to state. If you're ineligible they will be able to assist you in finding affordable legal representation through their network of lawyers.

2. Phone the police

It's important to contact the police to report and document any violence towards you from your spouse. The police will create a report which will be filled in their system for future reference. Depending on the severity of the violence, your spouse may be arrested and charged with domestic abuse. Make sure you include photographic documentation of any wounds or injuries that you've sustained.

The police will also help you to apply for Domestic Violence Order. This means that your spouse will be forbidden from approaching you physically or from contacting you via phone or email.

3. Phone a helpline

There are a number of national domestic violence helplines, such as dvconnect. They are free services which offer both practical and emotional assistance to people who have left, or are thinking of leaving, a violent relationship. Many of them are staffed by survivors of domestic violence themselves.

Helplines can not only help you with your immediate needs, they can also be of assistance as time goes by. Many survivors of domestic violence suffer long term emotional issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. Helplines can put you in touch with specialist domestic violence counsellors who have experience in helping victims regain their self-esteem and regaining their lives.

By picking up the phone and calling these professionals you will gain invaluable help and knowledge. It will also help you to realise that even though you may feel vulnerable and scared you are not alone through this difficult time.