The Pluses, Minuses Of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders


One of the seven Portland women killed or grievously injured in domestic-violence shootings over the last month had gotten a restraining order against her boyfriend, then dropped it, reports The Oregonian. Another talked to police about a restraining order less than a week before her ex-boyfriend shot her. Another got an order that morning; her husband shot her that night.

Advocates for domestic-violence victims say a piece of paper by itself can’t prevent harassing phone calls, psychological abuse or physical assaults. It won’t stop someone determined to kill. When a woman goes to court against an abusive partner as part of an overall plan for her safety, a restraining order is a significant deterrent to further domestic violence. “It puts people on notice, and that function is inherently valuable,” said Judge Maureen McKnight. “There’s a very fundamental value in that.”

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