The Dangers of Leaving an Abuser: the Milwaukee Shooting

Abuse victims are often afraid to leave their abusers because of the threat of escalated violence if they do.  The following story, of the Sunday shooting in Milwaukee, illustrates this point:

A Wisconsin woman whose husband killed her and two others at the spa where she worked said he threatened to throw acid in her face and jealously terrorized her “every waking moment,” according to court documents.

Authorities say Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, killed three women, including his 42-year-old wife, Zina Haughton, and wounded four others Sunday before turning the gun on himself.

The Waukesha County medical examiner’s office on Monday identified the dead as Zina Haughton; Cary L. Robuck, 35, of Racine; and Maelyn M. Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc. All were found in the spa.

In a written request for a restraining order filed Oct. 8, Zina Haughton said her husband was convinced she was cheating on him and that aside from the acid threat he also vowed to burn her and her family with gas. He said he would kill her if she ever left him or called the police, according to the court papers obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

“His threats terrorize my every waking moment,” she wrote.  —Wisconsin man illegally bought gun day before spa shooting

His wife did the right thing in trying to leave him.  However, this is when domestic abusers often become the most dangerous, and restraining orders–as in the story above–become nothing more than a piece of paper.  My page on abuse is full of links to websites to help abuse victims.