False Security....

"Well, you should just get a restraining order against him, and that will end it!"

Don't let comments such as that give you a false sense of security!! Restraining orders, while they do serve a good purpose if properly issued, and utilized, they will not save you from an offender who is out of control. Please remember that and make sure you take other steps to keep yourself safe.

In my case, orders of protection and "no contact" meant nothing to my abuser. If anything they served to give him something to aim his anger at and a reason to take it out on me -

I had to make sure I had other things lined up for my own security...and since I didn't have a lot to work with, that meant I made sure to remember the little things....like...

Know the exits around you
Keep "supplies" handy if needed to grab and run (money, id, important papers)
Keep porch lights on at night
Keep all outside lights on at night
Keep doors locked
Have friends keep an eye on you and your place
Above all, stay calm

For me I also made sure I had a recording device in all the rooms I used frequently. I did so because of another fear I had at the time, that something would happen to me, and he would get away with it. By the time I had gotten to that point we had spent almost two years in that constant cycle of abuse...police....slap on the wrist....abuse ....police....slap on the wrist....abuse...etc..etc..etc..

He walked around with the attitude he was above the law...after all he "knew how to manipulate the system!"

So yes, I kept a recording device near me as I didn't trust him, nor did I trust the justice system. (one day I will tell those stories!)

Restraining orders are fickle things and depending on who you are and where you live may make the world of difference if you are issued one or not. After all it's up to the judge unless like in my cases there was already an order of no contact due to the nature of his crimes.

Last week I read an article about a woman in Florida, Alissa Benton - Benton was a 23 yr old woman who was gunned down by a an older man who had been stalking her for years. Her murder came just after she attempted to get a restraining order on the offender, but the judge denied it. In an article on her murder and the failed attempt of the restraining order, Benton had been reported to have told the judge:

"I moved to Orlando to be closer to a new job, and he began showing up there and e-mailing about seeing me," she wrote. "I reported it. Then I got married and moved back to Brevard County, and letters are coming and stalking here also."

The article goes on to say:

In other e-mails, he allegedly called Blanton a "tramp" and a "whore" and made comments about her weight.

"You are the poster girl for 'beauty is only skin deep,'" reads one of the e-mails

The only reason Benton knew this man is because he at one time was a customer of hers at a restaurant she worked at.

The judge hearing the case didn't feel like there was enough "dire need" for the order of protection...aka...restraining order.

Her attempt at attaining that order, and then the failed results ended up giving the mad man in her life reason to shoot her.

Then I know personally of stories where orders of protection were given over the slightest of threats, or just for the mere fact people had "words" with each other. I've seen people use them as a tool to get people they don't care for out of their lives...I seen them be used to abuse someone.

So while I may have mixed feelings on restraining orders, there is one thing I think every advocate out there would say about them - DON'T LET THEM GIVE YOU A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY!

Take other steps to keep yourself safe...

Contact an advocate and get advice individual to your situation...

If you don't know where to turn...start here.......


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