It can affect anyone

Lisa Dawson, 48, worked as a victim rights advocate, knew about domestic violence. She had suffered emotional abuse during her marriage which ended in 2004. And she worked with domestic violence victims, helping them to stand up against their abusers. According to Solicitor General Leslie Miller Terry “One of the reasons we hired her is because she understood the need to confront your abusers by using the criminal justice system. She herself had been involved in a relationship where there was emotional abuse”.

She had found a boyfriend, was working and was getting on with her life. But she didn’t tell her bosses. For the last 6 months, the violence from her ex-husband was escalating to the point of stalking. She had even established an escape plan. But she hadn’t yet gone to her bosses.

On Wednesday morning, Lonnie Dawson, 43 entered her home, with a key he was supposed to have given back to her. There he found Dawson and her boyfriend Kenneth Sands, 40. He murdered them with a “sharp object” and left. The murder weapon hasn’t been found.  

When Dawson didn’t show up for work, her fellow employees went looking for her. Police later found her ex-husband at a medical center getting treatment for cuts on his hand.

Domestic violence is very real. And it doesn’t always end when the marraige does. Sometimes, ending the marraige sometimes makes it worse. Did Lisa know or fear what the ending might be? I have no way of knowing. But she had to have known of the possibilities. Would a restraining order have helped here? One of her friends says no. And the truth is, a restraining order often doesn’t work in abusive situations. A person bent on assault or murder, usually won’t worry about what the courts will do if they break a restraining order. They know they are going to go to jail anyway.


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