Published February 2, 2015
MP for the Independence Party, Brynjar Níelsson, has spoken out in response to Detective Superintendent, Alda Hrönn Jóhannsdóttir, who criticised the Supreme Court for dropping three restraining orders last week and said that if the law failed to protect victims of domestic violence then perhaps the legislation should be reviewed, reports Vísir.
“Restraining orders are naturally a kind of punishment,” said Brynjar. “I think that people should be careful to use them. I don’t see any reason for parliament to review this law especially. I think that the Detective Superintendent should instead review her own work practices.”
As reported, last week Iceland’s Supreme Court dropped three restraining orders. In one of the cases a man leaked graphic nude videos of his ex to her work colleagues while she lived in a shelter for abused women. Meanwhile he lives in the apartment that she owns and shares custody of their small child.
In the second case a man threatened to violently attack his ex and her son. The last restraining order dropped involved a man who lost his temper in his ex girlfriend’s apartment and destroyed her property and personal belongings.
Recently the Metropolitan Police and Child Protective Services began a campaign to increase efforts to protect victims of domestic violence by enforcing restraining orders and forcefully evicting violent partners from homes.
News that the Supreme Court had dropped these three restraining orders hit the police department hard and the Police Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police told the press that it was unlikely – in all three cases – that they would be able to safeguard these women’s privacy without the restraining orders.
“It was a disappointment,” Detective Superintendent Alda told Vísir when she heard the restraining orders had been dropped. “But we will soldier on. There are a lot of obstacles in the way but we’ll keep chipping away at them… We hope that this will not lead to victims turning away from seeking our help because they believe [restraining orders] won’t work.”