Loni Amber Turner and Alissa Blanton of Florida both tried to get a court order to stop men from stalking them. Neither woman survived to have their day in court, says the Orlando Sentinel. Both were killed in murder-suicide cases this year. Their deaths shouldn’t discourage others from seeking a domestic-violence injunction in a potentially lethal situation, said Carol Wick of Harbor House of Central Florida, which offers a shelter and other services for domestic abuse victims.
“We always stress to people that injunctions work and that your odds are better with an injunction than without,” said Wick, whose organization helped 3,500 Orange County residents with the injunction process last year. Cheryl Fuller, of the Volusia-based Domestic Abuse Council, agreed that injunctions are a deterrent in most cases. “It can be a very effective legal tool for victims to use.” Central Florida has seen a spike in domestic-violence murders, including murder-suicides. Wick said there are 28 such homicides in Orange County this year, compared to 17 last year. Injunctions are a key legal tool that can protect victims, but a judge must be convinced someone, in 90 percent of cases a woman, is in imminent danger.