A Safe Place For Abused Women

Monday, October 1st 2007, 9:00 pm
By: News On 6

A man suspected of taking his ex-girlfriend hostage and shooting her and a Broken Arrow police officer has had several protective orders filed against him, both in Tulsa and Wagoner counties. Some were still working their way through the courts, while others were dismissed because the women who filed them didn't show up to court. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports on Kelly Waymire’s history, plus how you can protect yourself from an abusive relationship.

Domestic Violence Awareness month began with Broken Arrow police responding to a home, near 1400 W. Fredericksburg, where they say a man had shot his ex-girlfriend and taken her and her daughter hostage.

"Until you said it was October 1, it really didn't hit me that it’s October 1. No, it's not a good way to kick off the month, and I thought what a shame is that," said DVIS Associate Director Donna Mathews.

Donna Mathews, with Domestic Violence Intervention Services, says Oklahoma ranks tenth in the nation for the number of women murdered by men. But she says domestic violence doesn't always have to be deadly.

"The most important thing for people to know is there are options," Mathews said.
One option is to come to the Family Safety Center, located near 31st and Harvard. The facility allows victims of abuse can meet with specialists, nurses, and law enforcement in a secure place.

Two months before Teresa Thompson was shot and taken hostage in her own home, court documents show she was at the Family Safety Center. She appeared by video to file a protective order against the man arrested Monday for allegedly shooting her, Kelly Waymire.

A second woman also filed a protective order against Waymire, claiming he pointed a gun at her, threatened her life and punched her in the face. The order was issued in that case, but was later dismissed because the woman did not show up to court.

DVIS specialists say a protective order is just one tool you can use to protect yourself.

"It's nice to know that there is a place here in Tulsa,” said Donna Mathews. “People can go to the shelter tonight and be safe, and we want to make it very clear to people that that option is open to them."

The Domestic Violence Intervention website is also a great resource; there you’ll find a step-by-step guide to creating a safety plan. You can also log-on and download the paperwork to file a protective order.

Watch the video: Helping Victims Of Domestic Violence