|Updated: 1/23/2012 9:52 pm
||Published: 1/23/2012 7:22 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Including Monday's victim, thirty-four Arkansas women have lost their lives to domestic violence since 2010. That's according to the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Many of the women had orders of protection against their killers.
Ronnie Stewart had not one, but two orders of protection against him. He's the man accused in Monday's deadly shooting in Bryant which also left him dead. One protection order was taken out in Faulkner County against him within the past month.
So how you can protect yourself beyond a restraining order?
"Domestic violence always starts out seeming very romantic. I know that sounds weird, but that's how women, it's so subtle. It's oh, he's jealous because I'm so special to him and he's so in love with me," says Dorcas VanGilst with Dorcas House.
Many domestic violence victims, like Jenny Cavender killed Monday in Bryant, have orders of protection out against their abusers.
"Does taking out a restraining order really protect yourself?" asked FOX16's Kelly Dudzik.
"I say yes and no. There's only so much a restraining order, or an order of protection, can do. It's always imperative that if you think there's any chance that your abuser would come after you any way to get to a safe place," said VanGilst.
One of those safe places is Dorcas House where late last year, Domestic Violence Director Dorcas VanGilst tells FOX16, the number of women seeking help sky-rocketed 50-percent.
VanGilst says in addition to a restraining order, changing your daily routine can help throw an abuser off your path.
"They know where you go to work. They know where you shop. They know all those things. So changing as much as you can, of course including the location of where you live, you know, helps," she says.
VanGilst also suggests alerting police to your problems and having someone walk you to your car. Since abuse situations can quickly spiral out of control she also says you need to have an escape plan.
The Arkansas legislature recently strengthened laws against those who violate restraining orders making a second violation within five years of the first a Class D Felony.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.