Domestic violence is a serious problem in the United States. Many studies on domestic violence imply that it is a problem mostly affecting women and that perpetrators are usually male. The problem with these kinds of studies is that they usually derive their statistics from reported instances of domestic violence, and the truth is that both genders significantly under-report domestic violence events, and males are much less likely to report domestic violence than females.

One of the key reasons for this under-reporting is that there is an intimate relationship between the two parties which can have a strong influence on their willingness or desire to change their circumstances, and sometimes there is also a relationship of dependency between the two parties.

A person in a violent relationship may legitimately fear that they would not be able to survive outside of the relationship, and obviously this fear will increase with age, especially if it is a long time since that person has been in employment or education. In fact, victims of domestic violence often have to weigh up their situation, and may choose to remain in a violent relationship as choosing the lesser of two evils.

As frightening as it may be to leave an abusive relationship, the consequences of not doing so can be tragic. There is support available, and whatever you are fearing, the outcome probably won’t be as bad as you anticipate. The important thing to do is act decisively, seek all available help, and get legal assistance as soon as possible.

Don’t let feelings of shame or concerns about your image hold you back from taking action. Your situation is much more common than you may realize. A 2015 report by the National Coalition Against Domestic violence indicates that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States has been subjected to physical violence from an intimate partner. Those are very big numbers, especially when you take the phenomenon of under-reporting into account.

While the police and some other agencies can help you in the short term, their power is limited and the help they can give you is temporary. To really get the problem solved on a long term basis, you need help from a qualified attorney.

According to Carlsbad domestic violence lawyer Fischer & Van Thiel, the sooner you make contact with a lawyer, the more easy it will be to avoid serious conflict. Getting a court order won’t protect you from bullets, but it will give police powers to help protect you, and it will give police more impetus to do so.

Where no court order exists, police have to approach their task in a more restrained way, and they may be unsure exactly which party they’re supposed to be helping. False domestic violence reports happen all the time, and police either have to verify the situation before making a move, or take pre-emptive action based on their best guess.

A court order empowers them to act more directly and helps to make it clear from the outset who might be at fault. Therefore you should not delay to get help from a lawyer the moment you make the decision to get out of a violent relationship