Hazel Robinson, a 51-year-old Brooklyn woman, was almost decapitated by her husband when he killed her using a kitchen knife on Sunday, February 17th. Her husband, Ian Robinson, murdered her in front of her grandson, who is four-years-old. Following this tragic incident, Ian Robinson was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon. According to the police, he had never before been arrested and there had been no prior reports of domestic violence in the family.
Although there were no prior reports of domestic abuse in this couple’s home, this deeply upsetting murder highlights how serious and severe domestic violence can be. In the U.S., domestic violence is the number one source of injury to women, causing more injuries than rapes, car accidents, and muggings combined. It is critical that victims of domestic violence know their legal rights and have access to any available protections in order to prevent such atrocities from occurring.
In New York State, if you are unsafe in your home due to violence or abuse, you can obtain an order of protection, which is a protective measure issued by courts to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person. It can help prevent abuse, harassment, violence, or stalking by mandating the offending person to stay away from his/her spouse and/or children, to move out of their home, to pay child support, and/or to not have a gun. If the person violates the order of protection, they are committing a crime and the police can arrest the individual for failing to obey the order.
Although orders of protection cannot fully ensure victims’ safety or stop all the harms caused by domestic violence, they can help keep people safe by enabling the police to arrest someone for violating the order. If you or someone you know feels unsafe in their home due to an abusive or violent situation, we strongly recommend seeking legal assistance immediately.