Monday, August 01, 2005

Restraining Orders and Violence

Tahoe Daily Tribune: Restraining orders can't prevent violence

More and more I am reading stories in the MSM that point out the fact that a court order is not a guarantee of safety. They still are not advocating self-defense, but they are stating the truth. Relying on a restraining order for your safety is foolish.

As is all too often the case, this story is about a tragedy. (More than one is covered, actually) Shelly Hachenberger obtained a restraining order against Chris Rasmussen, thinking it would keep her safe. When he violated the order on July 11, he was arrested. He put the $2600 on his credit card and was out of jail in 3 hours.

Rasmussen violated the court order on July 19. Police went to his home to arrest him, but because he did not answer the door, they failed to arrest him. (His cars were there, neighbors said he was home, but ignoring the police let him stay free. Some protection this offered.) He killed her the next morning.
"People actually see that piece of paper as some protection and it does not have that kind of value," Hachenberger's father Dave Churchey said. "She believed the order would give her the tools she needed to (make him stop), but her faith in people was misplaced."
Her belief that "the system" would protect her, let her down in the end.

Even people in the victim industry admit the court order is no guarantee.
"This is definitely extreme. We don't see that as often," said domestic violence advocate Frankee Haynes. "I think they are a very effective tool, but it doesn't stop a bullet."
At no point in this article, does the author mention the fact that it is possible to defend yourself. One example cited discusses a woman who moved away - at least some action was taken. But as I said in the opening, at least they are awake to the fact that a court order is not a bullet-proof vest. Perhaps the recent SCOTUS ruling on restraining orders is waking people up to the truth.

(My views on Restraining Orders are in many posts.)

No comments: