Protection order changes woman's life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protection order changes woman's life

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August 25, 2004

Cordele- Heather Barnes fell in love not long ago. She describes it as "a world wind romance."

That romance led to a wedding. Barnes said "He was the nicest, most kind person in the whole world and would do anything I asked him to," but she says he refused a dance with her on what was suppose to be the biggest day of her life. "I said baby would you like one more dance, and he said I've already danced with you a thousand times tonight, I don't want to dance with you anymore."

This was the first sign the man she married wasn't who she thought he was. Barnes describes him as "Not the person I married at all, completely different, totally changed, totally controlling." She says the relationship became verbally abusive. "He would back me up into a wall and whisper in my ear, telling me I was nothing," said Barnes.

She said he eventually began to physically abuse her. Barnes claims "He hit me in my head, and he hit me in my shoulder, and I was begging somebody to help me." Help finally came when she told her grandparents the truth about her husband. Barnes said "If I would have been without them, I wouldn't have left him even today because I didn't know how."

All she had to do was file for a divorce and apply for a protection order. Barnes says "If this person comes, I have nothing. If he hurts me, nobody cares, but with a restraining order, everybody cares."

Filing for a protection order is easy. Talk to police or a local women's shelter to find out what a protection order can do for you. Fill out the forms describing the abusive treatment you've suffered, and go to your hearing. After the Hearing, Make sure you get a certified copy of the protection order from the court clerk.

With prayer and a protection order, Barnes life changed dramatically. Barnes said "I prayed I would never see him again, ever, and I never did," but she did see herself with a better future. "I have my own place, I couldn't move up at my job, now I'm store manager,"she explained.

Barnes knows her biggest accomplishment was managing to get away from what she calls a dangerous husband.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 4:13 PM.