Tuesday, 17 July 2018 18:09

Protection vs. Harassment orders in Maine Featured

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BANGOR - When murder victim Renee Clark was denied a protection order against her brother-in-law, who police say shot her to death last week, many people wondered why the request wasn't granted.

WVII spoke to the district attorney and Partners for Peace about that question and what people can do, if they face a similar situation.

The reason why murder victim Renee Clark was denied a protection from abuse order all comes down to a definition on the law books.

“A person is certainly entitled to get a protection from abuse order, but that applies to a definition of household member, and in this case she did not qualify under the law as a household member,” said Chris Almy, Penobscot and Piscataquis County District Attorney.

Clark's brother-in-law, Philip Clark, has been charged with murder in her death. Detectives say he admitted to shooting her repeatedly last Thursday until she stopped moving, and then wrapping her body in plastic.

Even though the court's denied her protection from abuse request, she had another avenue.

“She could have done this: She could have asked for a protection from harassment order, which applies for any individual,” Almy said.

Almy said he wasn't sure if Renee Clark knew she could ask for a harassment order.

“It's a very difficult situation for people in those situations to be in. Because you never know exactly what the perpetrator is up too, how far they will go, what extent they will use violence, and it's a tough situation,” the DA said.

Partners for Peace, once known as Spruce Run, has a ton or resources for people who are being abused or harassed by others, including creating an escape plan.

“Anyone who is concerned for themselves in their relationship or about someone else, is absolutely welcome to get in touch with Partners for Peace or in the state of Maine they get in touch with any of our Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence member projects, of which there are nine in the state of Maine and anyone can learn more at mcedv.org,” said Casey Faulkingham, the community resource team leader Partnership for Peace.

Even though Renee Clark had separated from her husband, reportedly over domestic violence allegations, her death will not be counted as a DV homicide.

“I think it's important for people to understand that in this particular case, this is not a domestic violence case,” Almy said. “Certainly domestic violence is prevalent issue in our area, as it is all over Maine, but in this particular case is not really a domestic violence case. It's a case that has to do with people who are related but not in a domestic violence setting.”

The Partners for Peace hotline is 1-800-863-9909.

Nit-Noi Ricker

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Nit-Noi Ricker is an Army brat who grew up on a farm in Winterport. She went to the University of Maine and the University of Northern Texas to learn how to be a journalist and started her career in Arizona at the Williams-Grand Canyon News, ...