Thursday, July 31, 2008

Restraining Order Escalated Violence

Protective order didn't stop angry ex-boyfriend - Top Stories - (HometownAnnapolis.com) People are always surprised by violence, but if you need a restraining order, you should be aware of the possibility of violence.
Shortly after 8 p.m. that day [the day the restraining order was issued], county police received a call from a frantic Ms. Ferrick, saying her ex-boyfriend was driving around her house on the 800 block of Nursery Road and threatening her. Mr. Brandt had driven past the home, flashing an obscene gesture and calling from his cell phone to threaten her, Ms. Ferrick said.

Suddenly, the black pickup came charging through the low picket fence that borders the sidewalk, and struck Ms. Ferrick and her roommate's son Cody, 11, who was sitting with her on the front stoop of the home, she said.
Cody's foot was nearly severed in the attack, but doctors were able to reattach it. Ms. Ferrick got away with a broken ankle and a head injury. She was treated and released.

The point of all this is that a restraining order by itself won't keep you safe. By the time police arrive, the crime has usually been committed. And as noted here, sometimes the simple act of getting a restraining order makes the situation more volatile.
Debra Ferrick hoped the protective order granted by a District Court judge Monday morning would keep her ex-boyfriend away. But instead, it began an escalating series of events.
By all means, get a restraining order if you need one. But be aware that it doesn't always do what you think it will. Best to have a plan for your personal safety in place. Don't assume the person will abide by the order. Don't assume the police can protect you.

Court orders are legal tools, not force fields. They can't stop a racing truck, a bullet, a knife or a thrown punch. Planning for your safety is up to you.

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