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Restraining orders & gun violence

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Beth Wheelock Tallon
October 28, 2012

Beth Tallon is the Public Relations Director for YWCA Rock County.

The comments on my blog post about the Brookfield shooting sparked a need for me to find out more about gun violence in abusive situations.

As my former coworkers sometimes tease me: once a reporter, always a reporter.

Tony Gibart is the Policy Coordinator for the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. He directed me to the WCADV website, where the coalition has created fact sheets on topics related to the Brookfield incident.

For example, I've heard many questions about restraining orders.
WCADV says:


While the Brookfield shooting calls clear attention to the limitations of restraining orders—particularly in high risk cases—research has indicated that restraining orders are effective in many, if not most, cases. A 2009 study found that obtaining a restraining order was associated with an elimination of violence in 50% of cases within 6 months. Two studies from Seattle found that women with restraining orders were less likely to be abused, compare to those who did not obtain them.[1]  In addition, 86% of women with restraining orders report the order either stopped or reduced the abuse.[2] Restraining orders themselves are not a complete solution.  The restraining order process must be complemented with accessible victim services, safety planning, active and consistent enforcement and a community coordinated response to domestic violence. 

One of the biggest questions regarding domestic violence: “Why doesn't the victim just leave?” I've even seen comments on the Gazette website stating that victims must be stupid to stay in an abusive relationship.

An abusive relationship isn't violent at the start. I've noticed both Teri Jendusa Nicolai and Julie Rook Schebig have mentioned that while telling their stories in Janesville.

We still have a few days left of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Spread the awareness and be safe.
-Beth



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