Thank you,Fran, the information you gave has answered many of my questions. I do have a few follow up questions, if you wouldn't mind.
In the area of violence that has occurred between us, there has been some back and forth between us, none of which was reported. What made me consider a HRO were recent events such as repeated stalking of me,an incident in which he and his brother showed up to our apartment and made a vague threat towards me, and the last abuse event where he took my keys from me to prevent me from leaving and when I tried to get them back by following him outside and trying to grab them from him, I was pushed to the ground and he started hitting me until I started calling out for help, at which point he got up, kicked me in the ribs, threw my keys at me and took off. Regrettably I decided not to get the police involved. After the threat I had mentioned occurred, I had the officer take the statement and told him about the abuse, but did not pursue any charges. However, I did have a friend take pictures of cuts I had in my mouth from being hit in the face and showed the officer in person.
Since the incident I have made it clear to my ex that I want them to move out of the apartment and leave me alone. I've even offered to leave myself, but he won't agree to let me off of the lease and I don't have the money to simply buy out of the lease. I genuinely do not feel safe living in the same apartment, not for my personal safety or for that of my possessions.
I really don't want to get the law involved because of all of the hassle that comes with it. My biggest fear would be retaliatory litigation on his part against me. He is a selfish, petty person who, since I ended our relationship, wants nothing more than to make my life miserable. I know that all I have done wrong is mutual fighting, but that would not stop him from trying to get me charged based on bogus claims. He's already told many people lies about things that I've done or said to him. Adding to my fear is once again that he has access to a lawyer that is on retainer, and has a few people that would lie/testify on his behalf if he asked them to. I don't know how one would even combat multiple people insisting an untruth is actually truth. I'm not affluent by any means to be able to easily pay for any legal aid. My time is also consumed by going to school and working full-time to the point where having to add any extra nonsense, like court appearances and trying to figure out what to do with the situation, would very negatively affect my performance on both fronts.
I guess at this point I feel like I am damned if I do act, and damned if I don't. I feel as though it might just be easier to try and ignore the situation until March when our lease is up, but I know that things will just get worse because they already have been getting progressively worse.
What do you think my best option here would be--Put up with the nonsense and suffer moderately on a day-to-day basis or try and act and potentially face problems that would negatively affect me long term such as costly fees, possible loss of my job, and a marred record?
Any advice is appreciated.