Even though relationships are far more progressive these days and women have come a long way where equal rights are concerned, there are still many women who have dealt with domestic violence in their life. Unfortunately, a lot of those women do not make it out of those situations alive. According to the Huffington Post

The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that time was 11,766. That's nearly double the amount of casualties lost during war.

One critical mistake a lot of women make who leave these abusive relationships is they don't file criminal charges. Why should you file charges against an abusive spouse even though you've gotten away? Here are a few reasons why. 

Filing charges shows your spouse you are serious about putting an end to the abuse. 

Leaving an abusive situation is hard, but a lot of women end up going back to their abuser out of fear or because of intimidation, or sometimes simply because they do love that person in spite of their behavior. Filing criminal charges shows your partner that the abuse must stop, and you are serious that they have to stop being abusive in your relationship and ongoing relationships because there are repercussions for their actions. 

Filing charges may help with other family matters. 

If you plan to file for a divorce or plan to try and get custody of the children you share with the abuser, filing charges is a smart move on your part. Because you have filed a formal criminal complaint, the court will have a record of what took place, and these records can be a huge help with ongoing family legal matters down the road. 

Filing charges may actually help your spouse in the long run. 

Even though you may hate the behavior of your abusive spouse and may want to be away from them, you probably do want them to get better and better handle their anger or violent tendencies. It is not uncommon for the judge to order an abusive party to take ongoing anger management classes or attend therapy, (even if they are in prison) and are found guilty of the abuse. It can sometimes take these situations to make someone see the wrong in their prior actions and make changes in their life for the better.