OKLAHOMA CITY – A metro mother suffers a terrifying night of abuse at the hands of her ex-husband after multiple protective order violations.
35-year-old Justin Taylor allegedly broke into the victim’s house and strangled her, all in front of their young kids.
Domestic violence experts are now trying to explain why protective orders are so important and why victims must still take additional steps to protect their families.
According to neighbors, the violence in Justin Taylor’s home started long before the victim filed for divorce and got a restraining order in December.
In the 8 months since, Taylor has violated that restraining order multiple times. Things escalated each time until finally he went too far.
The YWCA sees this far too often.
“It’s a loss of power. It’s a loss of control,” The YWCA’s Deb Stanaland said.
Court documents say Taylor broke into his ex-wife’s house and chased her to the garage where he grabbed her and pinned her to the ground, covering her mouth and nose to keep her from breathing.
He allegedly choked her so hard it left marks on her neck.
And when she tried to call 911, he just broke her phone.
All of this in happened in front of their young children.
Next door neighbor Darwin Gabauer heard it all.
“I don’t know that there are any more steps that she could’ve taken legally,” says Gabauer.
The YWCA does not want a story like this to discourage women in the same situation from seeking legal protection.
“The fact is a VPO is a piece of paper,” says Stanaland. “But it’s a very important piece of paper.”
But she says they must take that extra step in getting physical protection and that’s where they step in creating a tailored safety plan that tells them where to go and who to call.
“The fact is that there are no guarantees,” says Stanaland. “They often are going to continue until they get what they want. The only way we’re going to stop that is when we have community that says we aren’t going to accept this.”
Luckily for this victim and their children, Taylor is now behind bars.
If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence the YWCA urges you to give them a call.
They have several hotlines depending on the type of help needed.
Domestic violence victims: (405) 917-9922
Sexual assault victims: (405) 943-7273
For VPO assistance and information call (405) 297-1139