An Amber Alert recently came to a chilling ending.
While the baby boy was found safe, his mother was found murdered by a man she had a protection order against.
The reality is a protection order can’t completely protect against someone intent on doing you harm.
The Wheeling YWCA’s Family Violence Prevention director says there are things we can do to add more “layers of protection.”
First, turn off the location tracker on your cell phone.
“You’re on Shapchat, you’re on Facebook,” said Trish Flanigan. “If you’re posting things, it will say where you’re posting them from.”
Flanigan urges women emerging from an abusive relationship to change their locks, change their account passwords and change their phone number.
She says arming yourself with a weapon, however, could be problematic unless you’re very skilled.
“These weapons can be taken from you and used against you,” she noted.
She said an abuse shelter can help you make a personal protection plan.
It may include changing up your routines, schedules and the routes you drive.
It may involve talking to a neighbor.
“Maybe it’s leaving the outside light on,” Flanigan suggested. “If they see the light on, they’ll know you’re fine. If they see the light off, they’ll know to call 911.”
She says a victim’s advocate can also help determine how dangerous your ex-partner is.
“When the abusive partner says if you leave me I’ll kill myself, we tend to miss that because we think he didn’t really threaten to harm me,” she said. “But that is a huge red flag on a lethality assessment.”
She says it’s also important to give a copy of your protection order to your employer and to your child’s day care provider.
She says if they don’t know what your abusive partner looks like, provide them with a picture.