Valley woman attacked despite restraining order

Posted at 8:08 PM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-19 19:32:10-04

Just weeks after obtaining an order of protection against her estranged husband, a Phoenix woman was attacked in her own home.  

The case exposes the limitations of these court orders to prevent domestic violence.

“There are cases when orders of protection may incite a perpetrator and make them more angry,” said Jessye Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Johnson encourages survivors to talk through their options with an advocate.

She says survivors should consider if a court order is the best safety plan for their individual circumstances.

The coalition operates a legal advocacy hotline for survivors wanting to understand their legal options.

“An order of protection is designed to set limitations on someone's ability to contact another person,” said Johnson. Perpetrators who violate the orders can be arrested and charged with a crime. 

Orders of protection are a fairly common tool, and Phoenix municipal courts received nearly 2,600 requests a year.

Avocates say generally they are effective in stopping inappropriate contacts, but the public only hears when there’s a failure.

“It will absolutely not protect you from someone who is bound and determined,” Johnson said.