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6 things to know about orders of protection

We hear about orders of protection when they don't protect someone. What do they do?

We hear about orders of protection when they don't protect someone.

That happened Tuesday, when a stalker threatened a Mesa woman's home with a bomb.

Randy Koeppen has worked as a victim's advocate for more than a decade at Chrysalis. He told me why court orders aren't always a security blanket:

How to file for an order of protection

What's the misconception?: "A lot of people think they're getting protection. 'I've got any order of protection, now I'm safe for a year.' They're not always getting what they think they're going to get."

What the judge will say: "Ma'am this is just a piece of paper. It should be part of an overall safety plan. It's not going to protect you by yourself, you have to take additional measures to insure your safety."

Koeppen adds: "That can be a wakeup call for people who thought, 'The judge signed this now he's going to stay away from me.' It doesn't always happen."

Why it's a risk: "The most dangerous time for victims of domestic abuse is when the abuser believes he lost control of her.... It's a great thing to do to stand up to the bully, but sometimes it's not the smartest thing to stand up to the bully if you're not ready to take him on."

Why police can't always be there: "If you're committed to harassing, threatening or stalking somebody, you're probably thinking about that 24-7. Police can't be there 24-7."

What's in a safety plan: The personal security plan should include how to protect yourself anytime you're outside the home - going to and from work, visiting friends or running errands. The Chrysalis domestic violence shelter can help. So can victim advocates or services at most Valley police departments

Why an order of protection works: "The vast majority of people when they have an order of protection served on them, they think, 'OK, I'm not going to violate this,' because if they do, it could possibly be a criminal charge."

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