What you don't know about a Protection Order could endanger you. Should you get one? Here's how to choose wisely.
If a stalker (whether ex-partner, acquaintance, or stranger) ignores your clear demand to leave you alone, then immediately get the police involved. Insist on a written police report every time, save all evidence, and keep a log so you can get a Protection Order from a court.
[Various states have names such as PPO (Personal Protection Order), TRO (Temporary Restraining Order), VPO (Victim Protection Order) OOP (Order of Protection) and so on. The laws also vary by state.]
Protection orders stop the mild stalkers. The police need one to begin the processes leading to the eventual jailing of a stalker who disobeys it. A bold stalker (usually a long-time ex-partner feeling devastated) might ignore it, though he may pause awhile or change tactics. Most bold stalkers indeed violate an order of protection, but having one at least allows the police to arrest him. You should report any violation immediately and press charges.
However, do not rely on a protection order as though it’s ironclad. It cannot protect you – it’s merely a piece of paper often found in the purses of women murdered by their stalkers.
A bold stalker may have no history of violence but that’s not a guarantee he won’t suddenly become violent – even homicidal – especially if he threatens suicide (he becomes very dangerous if he feels he has nothing left to lose). Not only is the targeted woman in possible danger but so too are people near her if the stalker thinks they’re an obstacle to his pursuit.The stalker had been haunting his ex-girlfriend for several years. Then he showed up at her home and was confronted by the woman's new boyfriend. An argument followed and the boyfriend was shot.
Many court-appointed victim advocates warn that sometimes an order of protection may not be wise if the woman feels that it will provoke the stalker to escalate the violence. The victim is the expert on her own life.Charles Junious stalked his ex-girlfriend, Teresa Johnson, until he finally shot and killed both her and her mother, Barbara Johnson, as they were hugging each other.
If you feel there’s even the slightest danger, immediately call the police. Then call your local rape crisis center – they'll get you help in navigating these stormy seas. You can trust their advice – many are former victims themselves – they know.
Check his background:
FamilyWatchdog.us shows the registered sex offenders living near you. However, rapists average 7 victims before their first arrest – so many won’t be on the maps yet. And remember that sex offenders may be homeless or simply prowl outside their neighborhood, or – as 24% do nationwide – simply disappear.