Options to Keep Women Safe

Options to Keep Women Safe
By: Holly Brantley

For Katherine Moshiri, an order of Protection issued to her husband wasn't enough to keep her safe.
She had just received an order of protection against her husband Monday afternoon, not long before 36-year-old Mir Shahin Moshiri shot his wife and three children, then turned the gun on himself.
This shocking story has been on the mind's of Betty Brown, a victim's advocate, and Linda Garner, of the Safe House for Women. They want to let women know there are ways to get out of violent relationships.
They say it's hard to tell what made the shooter snap in this case.  But, they say getting an order of protection is not an easy decision and sometimes it's not the best answer.
"Sometimes the victim just needs space," said Brown.  Her job is to sit down with women and help them find the best option to keep them safe.
Brown says it can buy time, and put someone who violates the order in jail.  But, she points out it's only a piece of paper and it can't keep you from harm.
"Her chances of physical harm increase whenever they take a step away from the abuser," said Brown. "That's why it's important to discuss whether it's best to get an order of protection, or maybe move to a safe place.  No decision is easy."
"It's very important to talk out the benefits and consequences of a protection order," said Garner. "Sometimes it's better not of have one.  Sometimes it's better to choose another option or relocate."
Garner says a protective order can sometimes spark a reaction because the abuser realizes they've lost control.
Meanwhile, they encourage you to be aware many abuse cases remain hidden, and they ask the public to be aware.
Judges take restraining orders very seriously.  Victim's advocates help put a victim's fears on paper.  Garner and Brown say there are many new resources available and help is out there.
Contact the Safe House for women at 335-7745 or call the toll free hotline at 1-800-341-1830 to learn more.