Protective Order Wasn’t Enough For Denton Victim

By Selena Hernandez, CBS 11 News

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas woman cried out for help, getting a protective order against the ex-boyfriend she feared was going to hurt her, but it wasn’t enough.

Denton police say Coleman Nichols did indeed hurt his ex-girlfriend. He’s accused of shooting the woman in the face with a shotgun as she stood outside her home Saturday morning.

CBS 11 News has learned it was a fight between the couple last month that promoted the protective order.

But law enforcement officials and women’s shelter professional stress that a protective order is just a piece of paper. “If the suspect does violate they’re able to call us and let us know ‘he’s on my property’,” explained Denton Police Department Public Information Officer Ryan Grelle.

Often the women who are granted the protective orders are often still in a great deal of danger.

On March 11 Nichols was arrested and charged with assault, for shoving his ex-girlfriend while they were in the car.

The victim filed an emergency protective order that same day and it was granted on March 12. A hearing about that order was set for this Thursday.

Police say Nichols had threatened the woman, and then this past Saturday carried out those threats.

The 32-year-old victim remains hospitalized and Nichols is still on the run.

The woman’s mother, who doesn’t want to be identified, told CBS 11 off camera that the couple had been experiencing problems the last few months and that the victim recently moved out.

Toni Johnson-Simpson is the executive director of a women’s shelter called Friends of the Family. “If someone says they’re going to hurt your loved one – believe them,” she said. “I think it’s important for women who are in an abusive relationships to seek protective orders. But at the end of the day it’s not something that becomes a bulletproof vest.”

A protective order ensures fast police enforcement if a victim reports being stalked or harassed.

Nichols is wanted for aggravated assault and is believed to be driving a while Chevy pickup with Texas plates AC30692.


One Comment

  1. Rick McDaniel says:

    Protective orders are a joke. they do NOT prevent anything. They just give the law a little more clout to prosecute after the the individual is victimized.

    Just another example of what is wrong with our judicial system.

  2. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    Authorities rarely take a woman seriously when they report this type of violence, because women in this country are still little more than property. Even worse, when a woman reports this type of abuse during the course of a divorce, they are the most likely to loose their children too. Friends, family, and employers will get rid of them quickly too, so she can’t support herself, further victimizing the target of violence. Justice in Texas is spelled “JUST US”.

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