This post is intended to give a little bit of advicefor ladies who may be seeking a restraining order against a violent or abusive ex-partner. (or weirdo)
Its written from an Australian legal perspective, but I think the general nature of the advice will be helpful to most people in this situation.
First off I’m not a lawyer, however I am a Justice of the Peace in Western Australia and am authorised to grant restraining orders, so I am speaking with a bit of legal knowledge on this subject.
One of my biggest worries with ladies that seek restraining orders is that often it is the woman who feels shame in seeking the order in the first place. I can understand some feelings of embarrassment, regret, or even “what the f#ck was I thinking” regarding the situation, however it must be said the shame should be on the violator, not the victim.
To many times ladies feel the need to keep quiet, even to neighbours and friends, the fact that they have a person they are concerned enough about to be in fear of assault. This is all topsy turvey. Ladies, if you have been assaulted you aren’t to blame for anything other than misjudging the bloke you were with.
As for the blokes (and usually it is a bloke, so I will use the male as my example for simplicity) who do this. You are dickheads. If you were dumb enough to abuse a woman you pretty well automatically should be out of her life. You are no better than a bloke who kicks his dog or hits kids. Its not big nor is it clever.
More below the fold.
If i can give only one piece of advice which all ladies must follow if they are seriously worried about an ex-partner tuning up its this.
TELL OTHER PEOPLE!!
The nosey old biddy down the road with the twitching net curtains is you lifeline. The next door neighbour you ignore may be the one to let you know Mr Nasty has been prowling around while you were out. Many, many times ladies take out restraining orders as if they have some magical ability to help and make things better. And many times they fail because the bloke is on the doorstep/broken in, and its to late.
TELL YOUR NEIGHBOURS, at the minimum, show them a picture of the bloke you are worried about and (depending on the type of order you have from the police) tell them to ring the local police when they see him around. Police cop a lot of criticism for the failure of restraining orders, however from my observations they are quick to attend and warn off bloke violating those orders. The value of having the police attend promptly and actually catching the bloke violating his order cant be overstated.
1: The bloke knows the coppers caught him. He knows it looks bad for him.
2: The coppers have a record of him violating the order, this is of great value if you seek to change the order later on. In addition this is great evidence if the man needs to be sent to jail.
3: Repeated violations of the order may see the bloke jailed as a last resort. This should only happen if the offender doesn’t take the hint from the police.
Its not necessary to tell the neighbours/little old lady, all the details (which may embarrass you), however pretty well every person LOVES, the idea of being a lookout for a “bad guy”. Just let them know he has a restraining order and police need to know if hes hanging around. Its not necessary for those people to get involved beyond a phone call when they see the bloke, make that clear to them.
Finaly to the question of the real psycho ex.
Move, leave the state entirely, change your phone, go unlisted and make sure all your friends know not to give him any info.
Its not fair, but by this stage you are dealing with a true nut. They may be happy enough to go to jail/die etc as long as they “take you with them”. If you are concerned your ex has reached this level they realistically your only option is to sever ties and move. Its not fair. Its not good. But it is the least worst option out of being assaulted/killed or moving and totally disrupting your life.
There are organisations that can help. Most are short term unfortunately, however the most important thing it to GET AWAY by that stage. You will be stressed, you will be worried, but again remember that’s the least worst of options.
Here’s a couple of links to organisations that may help.
New South Wales: http://www.wrrc.org.au/contactus
ACT: (possibly the least listed) http://www.reachout.com.au/index.asp?mci=3&mwi=2&tii=20&gclid=CNjanJ_a8ZkCFRMupAodiDw4Rg
Now its fair to say I’m not a fan of some of the more radical attitudes of some of the groups listed above, there is a fair density of man haters in most women’s groups. However you use what you can!
To reiterate, no woman should stay with a bloke who raises a hand against them. If you order him out, he has no right to come back (kids access is a different issue) and if he does, you have every right to protection. Society as a whole hates women bashers, they aren’t real men. And any blokes who do it should know that.
Now for a real life episode.
My neighbour was involved in a messy separation from her ex. She told no-one for a start. The bloke was barred from coming withing 100m of her house or contacting her in any way. He was driving past the house dozens of times a day, ringing and hanging up (public phones) and happening to “be around” whenever she went out.
My missus became involved after he wrote some vaguely threatening/pleading graffiti on a pipe directly across from the ladies house. The lady then told my missus what was going on and that she was worried as he seemed not only obsessed but also escalating his stalking.
Now my missus is always out and about in our front yard ( I wouldn’t dare accuse her of being a curtain twitcher lol) and not much gets past her. She began to ring the coppers when she saw him hiding in the bush across from her house, or driving by. The bloke began to get caught and warned off whenever he appeared, which (at least in his mind) must have re-enforced he was doing something wrong. After a few weeks of being caught out he left town and hasn’t been seen since.
That’s how letting neighbours/nosey old ladies can save you a lot of grief.
Sorry if this comes across a bit down, but its not a light topic. The police can only help if they are called, if you are disabled (worst case scenario), then your only insurance may be a person who knows to call the police.
Anyone else with tips for women in this situation please leave them below, its a complicated issue with a lot of “what ifs” involved, so feel free to address any you think Ive missed.