Protective Order Assistance Office opens days after deadly domestic situation

 A weekend domestic violence dispute turned deadly, and has left a community in shock. 

Albion Fellows Bacon Center Executive Director Kristie Byrns says, "Just like anybody else, heartache, it's just so tragic."

Evansville police say Maygen Sears was shot and killed on Sunday in a domestic situation. Police say she took the proper precautions with her husband by filing a protective order, but that didn't prevent the incident from happening. 

"A protective order isn't fail proof," Byrns says. "It does provide options for law enforcement and prosecutors office in situations but again nothing is fail proof."

Just days later, the Vanderburgh County Superior Court opens a Protective Order Assistance Office. 

"The goal is to educate people coming into protective orders about what the available resources are," Judge Mary Margaret Lloyd says. 

The office staff will help people who allege domestic violence or sexual assault by offering referrals to local agencies, education of local procedures, and help complete petitions for protective orders. 

"They come in and they get handed this paperwork that's overwhelming so having this office can help them fill out that paperwork," Judge Mary Margaret Lloyd says. 

There are other options in the Tri-State for victims of sexual assault or domestic abuse like the Albion Fellows Bacon Center. 

"This is every day for us," Byrns says. "This is the work we've chosen to do, we see this day in and day out and it is hard when this is the reason why we talk about it."

But talking about domestic or sexual abuse and opening an office to help victims file a protective order, some can only hope these steps will make a difference for someone in the future. 

The Protective Order Assistance Office is in the Civic Center downtown in room 108. It will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the Tri-State, follow Eyewitness News on Facebook and Twitter.

(This story was originally published on Feb. 12, 2018)


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