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A California woman had sought an emergency restraining order against her estranged husband a week before he shot her in a murder-suicide on last week outside a divorce lawyer’s office in Petaluma, California.

A Petaluma police officer had telephoned a judge on April 9 with an emergency request for a protective order on behalf of 43-year-old school teacher. A Sonoma County judge denied the request, finding there was no present danger of domestic violence.

After the emergency request was denied, the teacher visited her divorce lawyer on Sunday for help obtaining a restraining order. As she left, her husband, Kevin Conover, was waiting outside. He shot her before turning the gun on himself.

The story highlights the very real danger inflicted upon women attempting to flee domestic abuse. There is no guarantee that a restraining order would have prevented the murder-suicide, but why not err on the side of caution when lives are at stack?

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