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Domestic abuse victim recounts her story, outlines confusion over protective orders

Crystal Warner

(KUTV) In the wake of a rash of deadly domestic violence this month, a Utah woman said she is certain she was close to death at the hands of an ex-boyfriend.

Crystal Warner is sickened by shootings in Sandy, Taylorsville and West Jordan linked to relationships gone bad -- shootings in which the people targeted died, and shooters turned guns on themselves.

"It breaks my heart, I share them (the stories) on Facebook, because people just don't understand," said Warner, who recounted her abuse more than a year ago. "It makes me realize how mine could've ended."

She said the man who victimized her was a "saint" in the beginning -- letting her pick out a new house, and buying a new car for her. Then she moved in, and said his anger emerged.

"He spit pizza in my face one time," she said, "He pushed me down the stairs, and picked me up, and threw me across the room."

Warner said another event has driven home what has occurred repeatedly this month.

"He started trying to duct tape my wrists together" and raped her, she said, adding he attempted to pull her upstairs, where she would later find out from police investigators, he had a knife and rope.

The man was arrested and is now serving time in the Utah State Prison.

"It wasn't just rape. He didn't bring me there to rape me," she said.

"He brought you there, you think, to kill you?" asked 2News.

"I know," she replied.

Afterward, worried her attacker might be set free, the 32-year-old Davis County mother of two said she tried, but could not get a protective order against him.

"It was just court, after court, after court and not getting anywhere," said Warner, who thought she had more than enough evidence over the threat to her safety. "I'm still confused by it."

A protective order is just one option to try to keep those with bad intentions away; there are restraining orders, stalking injunctions, no-contact orders, dating protection orders, and criminal trespass orders.

"I think the protective order process can be tricky," said Kristen Floyd, director of Safe Harbor, a non-profit that helps victims of domestic violence, and runs a shelter in Davis County. "Without you having connected with an advocate that really can navigate through all those different processes, it's too confusing."

Safe Harbor will help people fill out the paperwork for free to see if they qualify for a protective order against an abuser, or if not, what other options are available.

"People don't know their options. Is that fair to say?" 2News asked Kathie Allen, the group's protective order program manager.

"That's fair to say," she said.

If you, someone you know, or someone you love is in need of protection, the Utah Domestic Violence Hotline can help, at 800-897-LINK (5465).

You can also find online resources at UDVC.org/resources/get-help-now.

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