Domestic violence groups raise awareness after Amber Alert murder

Domestic violence groups raise awareness after Amber Alert murder

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by Erica Heartquist, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 16 at 10:07 AM

GRESHAM – A Gresham woman was killed Saturday, just two months after she took out a restraining order against her estranged husband.

Although the situation was tragic, victim advocacy groups said Tuesday that high-profile domestic violence cases like the recent murder of Jessie Cavett help raise awareness about domestic violence.

Background: Gresham murder suspect had history of violence

Survivor advocates at the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said they have seen an increase in calls following this incident because it generates a lot of discussion.

"She always believed in the best in people and I think in her situation she was always hoping for the best and it never came," said Kimberly Beddor, owner, Bella Institute of Cosmetology.

Jessie Cavett's beauty school co-workers said she had the biggest heart anyone could imagine.

Related: Friends: Amber Alert murder victim saw ‘the best in people’

Friends and co-workers like Beddor said she also knew about Cavett's tumultuous relationship with her husband, Josh.

"For whatever reason, she was drawn back in time and time again. I think a lot of times it was out of fear and other times it was a desire to hold the family together," said Beddor.

Vanessa Timmons, Executive Director of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, said that's common.

"There is a complexity for survivors about whether to leave or stay and what is the safer action because we do know that sometimes it's protective and safer for survivors to move more cautiously," said Timmons.

In August, Jessie Cavett filed for a restraining order against her husband, Josh. He would be accused of shooting her to death just two months later.

"Perpetrators are notorious for crossing boundaries and that's why people say that a restraining order doesn't work. But, what we've learned is that when the boundary comes from law enforcement, a judge, the community -- perpetrators are more likely to respect it," said Timmons.

And Gresham Police, the agency investigating the Cavett case, said that's true.  

"Absolutely [restraining orders] are valuable. There are a lot of success stories in restraining orders when they do what they're supposed to do. But, since it's routine, those often don’t get reported," said Lt. Claudio Grandjean of the Gresham Police Department.

But, Lt. Grandjean admitted, a piece of paper won't stop a bullet.

"If the person is not going to respect the law then it's not going to do any good," Lt. Grandjean said.

On Wednesday and Thursday, all of the money from services, at the Bella Institute on SE Division Street where Cavett taught classes will be donated to her family.

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