Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Naive Question

Could a restraining order have prevented a stalker from killing Alissa Blanton? A restraining order is an interesting legal document. It is not a bullet-proof-vest.

Someone intent on murder, is hardly going to be put off by the fact they would be violating a court order. (Are you saying they don't know murder is illegal?)

All you have to do is look through my list of Domestic Violence posts to see that restraining orders rarely restrain anyone intent on violence. In fact, they can actually have the effect of triggering violence (as the author of this piece admits).
Sometimes, the very act of filing for an injunction can put a victim at more risk. Experts I talked to said they’ve seen cases in which stalkers have become more violent or aggressive after being informed that their victims are trying to get a restraining order.
Domestic violence is about control, and the act of getting a court order is about breaking that control, which can send the abuser over the edge.

Women (anyone) who thinks they need a restraining or protection order from the courts, also needs a plan for their personal safety. Of course, employers generally do their utmost to ensure their employees are disarmed (helpless) when they are arriving at or leaving work. They are disarmed just when they are at a known location on a known schedule. (Do we expect them to supply security?)

That is what happened in this case; the stalker killed his victim when she was in the parking garage of her workplace.

A restraining order is an interesting legal document, but awareness and lethal force are more likely to keep you safe.


Zendo Deb said...

Is 82 percent effective good enough to bet your life on?

BobG said...

What is interesting to me is that the sort of person that the restraining order is made to restrain (abusive and violent) is usually the same sort of person upon whom a restraining order is a wasted action. People who obey restraining orders are usually law-abiding enough that it really isn't needed.