Afraid for her safety, Burnaby reporter blogs about restraining order troubles
Burnaby Now reporter Janaya Fuller-Evans has written a blog post in which she says she fears for her family’s safety because of the RCMP’s inability or unwillingness to enforce a civil restraining order against her drug-addicted ex-husband.
On Wednesday, Fuller-Evans published a post on her personal blog about the difficulties she has had enforcing a civil restraining order against her ex-husband, who is now homeless and addicted to crack cocaine and heroin.
The restraining order was granted in March. Fuller-Evans writes that since then, her husband has repeatedly breached it. She’s called police in the past, and was told her ex would be arrested “if he phoned or showed up, and it wasn’t regarding visitation.”
This week, after another incident, Fuller-Evans called Mounties again. She writes:
The dispatcher spoke with her supervisor, and they both agreed they needed to send officers over to take a statement and then arrest Dan.
At 11:30 p.m. they called and said they couldn’t make it out because of a major incident – understandable. Then they told me they could only enforce the order if Dan didn’t return our son after a visit. This made no sense, as he’s not allowed unsupervised visits.
When I asked what I should do, I was told that if Dan assaults me, I could get a criminal restraining order, and they could arrest him. This was presented as my best option.
I know that the police are overworked, have incredibly long shifts, and encounter profoundly upsetting things on a daily basis. But I have a protection order that is enforceable, and thus far, they have not enforced it. Twice, when I called in, I was told it either didn’t exist or was cancelled.
But I am saying this now, publicly – I am afraid for the safety of my family. I am afraid that we will leave our apartment one morning and he will be out there in a bad state.
Scary stuff and hopefully the RCMP will smarten up. Too often, the force’s right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. (Indeed, while the tasering and the sexual harassment and the shootings get much of the press, I think (from personal experience) the force also has major internal communication that need to be remedied pronto.
Fuller-Evans is no stranger to dealing with other people’s drug addictions; last Sunday, she blogged about the toll drug addiction has taken on both her sister and her former best friend.
It’s a helpful reminder that sometimes the people reporters write about aren’t so different from the people they know, love, or have loved—for better or for worse.