CANONSBURG (KDKA) — Last week’s deadly shooting in Canonsburg has focused new attention on protection from abuse orders.
Officials say the 28-year-old pregnant woman who was killed had filed a PFA against her abusive husband, who later shot and killed one police officer, wounded another and then turned the gun on himself.
In Little Washington on Thursday night, there was as an informational meeting on protection from abuse orders and their effectiveness, or, in some cases, the lack of effectiveness.
The session was scheduled in the aftermath of Dalia Sabae’s death.
Sabae had obtained two PFAs against her husband, Michael Cwiklinski. One last year was dismissed by a judge, but she obtained another one just weeks before she was killed.
Many experts agree that the criminal justice system is imperfect when it comes to PFA orders, but that’s not a good enough reason for victims to give up on trying to obtain them.
Officer Jonathan Miles, of the North Strabane Police Department, said, “It’s not a perfect system; it never will be. A lot of people know how to manipulate the system, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to stop trying.”
Alexandra Brooks, with Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pa., told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “Anybody who files a PFA order, we check to make sure they have a safe place to go because we know the first two weeks after leaving an abusive relationship are the most dangerous for a victim. If you pay attention to any of the news stories, the victim is often killed after they took steps to end the relationship.”
Carol Furmanek, of Greene County, knows firsthand about domestic violence. Her daughter, Rhonda, was killed because her abusive husband, who was already in jail, directed one of his friends to murder her.
“She had a PFA and she kept telling me, ‘He’s going to kill me, mom,’ and I said, ‘No.’ I just didn’t think he would,” Furmanek said. “He beat and raped her about three weeks before he had her murdered.”