Rebecca Griego, 26, who was shot to death at the University of Washington yesterday, had a court order that was supposed to protect her from domestic violence, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Those orders often don’t ensure the safety of women. “Ultimately, it’s a piece of paper and works only as well as the enforcement behind it,” said Michelle Garcia, director of the Stalking Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime, in Washington, D.C. “If you can’t locate the person to serve them, it’s hard for it to be an effective remedy.”
A 1998 National Institute of Justice study found that of stalking victims who seek protective orders, 69 percent of women and 81 percent of men said their stalker violated the order. “I wish I could say, ‘If only she had done X-Y-Z, she’d be alive today.’ It sounds like she did a whole lot,” said Merril Cousin of the King County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “For anyone being stalked, the best thing is to call a domestic violence hot line.” The larger question is whether everything was done that could have been done by police, process servers, and employers who knew of her predicament.