When EMT workers finally forced their way into Laura Aceves’s apartment, they found her four year old child slumped on the floor beside her, covered in so much blood that they thought he had been shot as well. Fortunately that was not the case this time, but of the many possible outcomes to this terrible domestic violence tragedy, it was certainly one of them. Indeed there have been numerous times when domestic violence has escalated to the point that entire families have been slain.

As tragic as Laura’s situation was, it fit a classic profile of domestic violence cases. Where this one differed from the majority was that it went all the way. The warning signs that this was approaching were all there. In many ways the authorities who should have helped to prevent this tragedy proved inadequate, but it did not have to be that way. There were things Laura could have done to save herself, and there were things that she did do that contributed to her demise. The most significant of these was not shutting her abusive ex-boyfriend sufficiently out of her life.

Leaving him even the slightest way back to her, possibly believing in the forlorn hope that he could change, was a terrible and tragic mistake. Love is the most powerful of human emotions, and can sometimes also be one of the most dangerous. As with anything powerful, it should be respected. Love is capable of making people do things that common sense might otherwise dictate they not do. Staying in contact with an abusive partner in the hope that they will change is definitely one of those things that goes against the grain of common sense.

According to Carlsbad domestic violence lawyer Fischer & Van Thiel, those in domestic violence situations should seek help as soon as it becomes obvious that there is serious trouble in the relationship. Perhaps you might be inclined to forgive a single, isolated, minor argument. This is probably reasonable, but if it becomes part of a pattern, and if the situation escalates to violence (particularly if children are involved), you need to put distance between you and your abuser. You need to do that swiftly and irreversibly, or the same tragic fate that befell Laura Aceves’s family could come to yours as well.

One of the most important steps is to get legal advice. You can do this even before you leave home if the opportunity is there, but of course you should always make safety the main priority. If you’re facing any immediate threat, get yourself out of that situation using whatever resources are available.

A lawyer can help set up the foundation upon which you can receive further protection. This isn’t some kind of magic armor that will protect you from anything, but if you follow the right procedures and don’t waiver in your resolution, it can make a huge difference to what kind of statistic list you find yourself on.