Domestic violence is making the headlines in Colorado after one police department reported a 50 percent increase in domestic violence fatalities. Colorado Springs alone has had two recent domestic violence shootings, and aggravated assaults connected to domestic violence incidents were also on the rise.

The local police department also reported three murder-suicides related to domestic incidents this year alone. This increase is especially serious given that the number of general homicides is lower than previous years, meaning that even as overall violence declines, domestic violence continues to be a serious issue.

Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects couples from all demographics and life stages. While experts advise getting a protection order as soon as possible in these situations, as well as seeking outside help from a domestic violence victim organization, it’s important to recognize that abusers do not always respect these orders. As one legal hospital advocate said, “By design their behavior is unpredictable. If a victim could predict when their offender was going to do something then they could take the necessary precautions to be safe, but they can’t.” This means that the victim will need outside support as well as a thorough understanding of the legal options available to them.

Going up against an abuser in court can be a very daunting task. It’s normal to feel scared and intimidated and wonder whether you are doing the right thing. However, it’s important to understand that your attorney will be handling the in-court proceedings and can help you understand each step as it comes along. Being prepared and fully informed on what to expect can help you feel more in control of the situation and make the process somewhat less stressful.

Source: Fox21News, “Domestic violence related deaths up 50 percent in Colorado Springs,” Taylor Bishop, accessed Nov. 20, 2015