Many people who hear the story of what investigators say happened to Brandy Dallas and Samantha Rainwater in Liverpool Monday and are asking the same question: What good is an order of protection?
In comments on CNYCentral.com, Val Strong wrote, "A lot of good the Order of Protection did." Cheryl Van Valkenburgh echoed that sentiment, "An order of protection. About as useless as a blank piece of paper," she wrote.
Victim Brandy Dallas had an order of protection against her husband Justin, prosecutors say. It was issued in July after her husband was arrested for an incident of domestic violence, accused of menacing and unlawful imprisonment. Investigators say Justin Dallas held his wife down so that she couldn't leave.
On Monday, investigators say Dallas attacked his wife and her friend Samantha Rainwater, stabbing them to death at Rainwater's home in Liverpool.
According to New York State law, an order of protection is issued by the court to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person. It is used to address various types of safety issues, including, but not limited to, situations involving domestic violence. Family Courts, criminal courts, and Supreme Courts can all issue orders of protection. For information and hotline numbers for addressing situations involving domestic violence, click here for a link to Vera House, a Syracuse agency that works to prevent domestic and sexual abuse.
An order of protection may direct the offending person not to injure, threaten or harass you, your family, or any other person(s) listed in the order. It may include, but is not limited to, directing him/her to stay away from you and your children, move out of your home, follow custody orders, pay child support or not have a gun.
Last year, Onondaga County entered a pilot program to allow victims of domestic violence who obtain orders of protection from Family Court to receive instant notification when those orders are served. Victims can receive those notifications through a special website, text messages, fax and automated phone calls.