What should I do at the first sign of abuse? Should I seek help immediately or wait for a repeated abuse before seeking out help?
I am afraid I do not quite understand your question. If are saying that you have been battered, you will have to decide what you want to do. You can call the police. This will certainly have effects on the relattionship. It may or may not result in criminal charges. If it does this will be a huge intrusion into your lives. Although a prosecutor should consult with you about the appropriate outcome of the case, he does not have to do what you want. You can talk with family, friends, church members, or social agencies dedicated to such problems. Just be aware this will also have an affect on the relationship. The person or people you confide in may or may not keep it confidential.
Physical abuse within a relationship often follows a predictable pattern. That pattern is usually one of escalation. This is not always the case, but frequently is. There are many different warning signs. Do not place yourself at risk. Your question is really not a legal issue. It is a relationship question. There can be legal consequences to the actions you may take, but there is still no real legal question involved. I am sorry I cannot be of any help here.
If your question is about having seen evidence of abuse of somebody else, the above comments are still pretty applicable. Just understand if you insinuate yourself in somebody else's relationship you may run into strong and deep emotions.
Legal disclaimer: Legal disclaimer: Patrick M. Lewis, (913) 558-3961, firstname.lastname@example.org. This answer is intended to provide general information about the justice system. It does not provide legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It does not provide the basis for making decisions about a course of action. Legal advice requires more communication and information than is possible in this format. Many important considerations and factors need to be investigated and discussed before an attorney could give legal advice about this issue. Before making any decisions about a course of action readers are strongly encouraged to contact a lawyer and secure an attorney-client relationship. Readers must also understand that this format does not provide for confidential communication.