Getting Protective Order Not Easy For Broken Arrow Kidnapping Victim
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - A 13-year-old girl who was nearly kidnapped from her bus stop tried to get a protective order against her attacker but was initially told no. The girl did eventually get one, but most protective orders involve people who are in some type of relationship.
The bad news is, if there's no relationship, you have to prove stalking.
The good news is, stalking now includes things like repeated emails and texts, if they park outside your house, show up at work and leave unwanted gifts.
What does that mean for people - like our kidnapping victim - when there's one incident?
A 6-foot-tall boy grabbed Brittany at her bus stop, threatened to kill her if she screamed and dragged her into a neighbor's backyard until the neighbor scared him away.
Broken Arrow police caught the 14-year-old suspect that afternoon. Brittany's father wanted a protective order against the suspect.
It's much less common, since they weren't related and had no relationship.
"You would be applying for a stalking protective order if you do not have that family relationship," said Donna Matthews of the Domestic Violence Intervention Services.
People can file for protective orders at two places in Tulsa County on the second floor of the courthouse or at the Family Safety Center at 3010 South Harvard. At the Family Safety Center, domestic violence advocates help you fill out the paperwork, provide childcare and have a forensic nurse who can treat and document injuries.
"Another benefit of the Safety Center is you can go to court via video to talk to the judge for the emergency protective order, you don't have to go downtown, find a parking spot, pay for parking, that sort of thing," Matthews said.
If you need a protective order against a stranger, you must report each incident to police - no matter how small it seems - so you can prove to the judge a pattern of behavior.
"It is very important for each unsolicited, unwanted contact that it's reported to law enforcement every time, things like they left something outside your door or they sent 20 texts today and 50 the next day," Matthews said.
For the girl who was nearly kidnapped, there is a section of the stalking law that talks about unconsented contact, so they got one based on that.
Emergency protective orders are good for two weeks, then a judge has a hearing and decides whether it should remain in place longer. Protective orders can be issued for up to three years.
There's a 24-hour crisis line for victims of rape and domestic violence. The number is 918-7-HELP ME, or 918-743-5763.