13 of 13
For women like Dorothy who are dealing with abuse, Gavin says restraining orders may not be the right course of action. First, a judge's mandate can actually create a false sense of security for the woman. Second, it can end up provoking the abuser.

In fact, the most dangerous time for an abused person is immediately after a restraining order has been issued, Gavin says. Abusers are people who don't deal well with rejection, and a restraining order is a court-issued rejection. "You've done something very provocative. Restraining orders are basically a strategy of war. They are not a strategy of peace."

The conundrum of a restraining order, Gavin says, is that it generally only works to stop someone who's reasonable enough to listen to it. To someone who's unreasonable—and therefore most dangerous—it's just a piece of paper that is easily ignored. "[Restraining orders] are issued at the rate of a 1,000 a day in the United States, and yet every year hundreds of women are found murdered with a restraining order in their purse or a restraining order on their bedside table," Gavin says. "They're always right for police officers—they get the woman out of the office. 'Go get a restraining order. Prove to me that you really don't want to see him again.' They're always right for prosecutors, too. They're not always right for the woman who gets them."

How can living with your intuition mean living with less fear and more faith?

Watch Watch more of the discussion with Gavin After the Show.
FROM: How the Gift of Fear Can Save Your Life
Published on January 29, 2008


Next Story