What happens when restraining orders aren’t granted?

22News heard one WMass woman's story of being denied a restraining order against her ex

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Twenty-one year old Tony Moreno of Middletown, CT has been charged with murder in the death of his baby Aaden. Moreno threw the seven-month-old off a bridge over the Connecticut River Sunday, then jumped himself. Adrianne Oyola had filed a restraining order against Moreno earlier. It was denied.

22news spoke with a western Massachusetts mother who’s been denied a restraining order against her ex-husband more than once. She described telling her story in court, and then leaving fearing retaliation.

“You’re questioning why? Isn’t the way I feel important? Isn’t what I’m saying important? What happened, happened, and there’s a reason why I feel this way,” she said.

Legal expert Justin Dion told 22News judges face a complicated task.

“You may have someone who gets angry and yells a lot but they’re not physically violent,” said Dion, who’s the chair of legal studies at Bay Path University.

If the couple shares a home, one person is then homeless. If the defendant works in law enforcement or security, they must turn over their weapon and then can’t work. There’s not a lot of time to make a decision that impacts people’s lives.

“You may get five minutes of the court’s time before they have to get on to the next case. Five minutes for something that’s so important is really not a lot of time if you think about the ramifications,” Dion added.

In many cases a temporary 10-day restraining order will be granted. A judge then hears both sides and makes a decision about a one-year extension.

There are victim advocates who work in the courts to help people decide if a restraining order is even the safest option. Sometimes victims don’t want their abuser to know where they live or work, as it puts them in more danger.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse; women are statistically more likely. If you or someone you know feels unsafe, visit YWCA of Western Massachusetts.

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