A recent article published by the New York Times has confirmed what those working with domestic violence victims already know, leaving is the most dangerous time.
The article deals with a problem in the law that unless the restraining order is permanent, the person can retain their guns. However the Police can only take back registered firearms in NSW, someone who owns guns can probably get their hands on another gun.
The problem with AVOs is the same in NSW and New York, namely:
"A victim under a protective order is left to hope that her predator is a good rule follower. About half of the time, the order is violated."
Why is leaving dangerous?
The reason that leaving is dangerous is not a mystery.
Again from the article:
"Since family violence is almost always rooted in an abuser’s need to exert control, issuing a protective order can be like pulling the pin from a grenade. "
So should they leave?
Absolutely yes they should leave. While this article is a sober reminder of how dangerous this period is, it is also a sober reminder that domestic violence isn't "just" words and it can quickly escalate to a situation that is incredibly dangerous for the victim or the children in the household.
It is not safe for them to remain in the relationship, but care should be taken when leaving. On the right is an article collecting different advice to help those leaving a dangerous situation to do it well, including making a 'safety plan'.
In order to get more information about how to leave safely you should make an appointment to see Jacinta Watkins, she is experienced in dealing with violent relationships and can help you to make good decisions about your situation.