CALL FOR ACTION INVESTIGATION: Judge gives domestic violence victims more protection

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) -- There's a new level of protection for domestic violence victims in our community. A local judge made changes after our story aired about the issue.

El Paso County Courthouse

When you're a victim of domestic violence, you want the courts to do everything in their power to keep you safe. And now, a protection that used to last just a week will last much longer here in El Paso County.

"I think that it will help save lives," said Tara Loo, a domestic violence survivor. "He thought he had killed me, actually, and put me outside. Thank goodness I regained consciousness while I was outside so I was able to run for help."

Her abuser is now in prison for what he did.

When someone gets arrested for domestic violence, an automatic "no-contact order" goes into effect. That means the offender is not allowed to go near or even contact the victim. Courthouse protocol used to allow the order to expire after just seven days in El Paso County.

"It puts victims at danger. There's just no if, and or buts about it," District Attorney Dan May told 11 News reporter Katie Pelton in an 11 Call for Action Investigation. May called for more protection for victims.

"In all the major jurisdictions in the state of Colorado, the judges are ordering it for the duration of the case, there's to be no contact," he said.

After our 11 Call for Action story aired, District Judge William Bain changed the policy. Now when someone is arrested, they can't have contact with the victim until the judge allows it -- not just for seven days, but possibly for weeks or even months -- to keep victims safe as long as they need it.

"That seven days before just wasn't enough protection," Loo added.

Bain told us he made the change, in part, to be consistent with the other courts in our state.

Click here to read our previous 11 Call for Action Investigation.