When tragedy strikes, Joliet residents tend to band together to support each other through the difficult times. Even after a major life challenge, some use the experience as an opportunity to educate others in an effort to prevent the tragedy from happening to someone else.
This was the case recently during the annual Will County Take Back the Night Vigil and March. The day of awareness brought together victims of domestic abuse and others in an event to educate the community about domestic violence. While there are no easy answers for addressing abusive relationships, there is at least one option that too many victims seem to be unaware of — orders of protection.
Orders of protection, also called temporary restraining orders, are often helpful in insulating a victim from an abuser. For instance, abusers may be required to stay away from the victim and cease all abusive acts. Because it is a legal order, an order of protection will be issued by a court after evidence and arguments are presented. Typically, this evidence takes the form of police reports or hospital records.
Unfortunately, some do not act quickly enough in obtaining orders of protection. For example, the mother of one victim told the Will County rally about how her daughter was a victim of repeated abuse from her ex-husband after the couple had gotten a divorce. Despite the repeated abuse, the woman continued to return to her ex-husband and give the relationship more and more chances. Ultimately, the woman died at the hands of her abusive ex-husband.
As tragic as the woman’s story is, her parents have taken on the cause of raising awareness for other victims so that they do not suffer the same fate as the woman. The message is clear: victims of domestic violence need to act immediately to obtain orders of protection, and others need to get more involved in working to intervene when they see abuse happening.
Source: The Herald-News, “A rally against violence,” Denise Baran-Unland, Sept. 28, 2012
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Victims and families speak out against domestic violence