A Goochland teacher is recovering after being brutally beaten in her school parking lot.
Police say her ex-boyfriend is to blame. It turns out the teacher had a protective order against Harris - so why did the protective order provide no protection?
The teacher took advantage of a recently approved state law that now allows people who are not married and just dating to apply for a court order.
An NBC 12 special investigation revealed people are now flooding the courts looking for help. For example, Richmond saw orders jump from 55 to 659 from the year 2010 to 2011.
Kathleen Demro, executive director of Safe Harbor - an organization that supports people impacted by sexual and domestic abuse - explained the value of the protective orders.
"It's a piece of paper, but it's a tool." said Kathleen Demro. "In many of these cases the violence that has been going on has been invisible."
Neighbors seem to support that theory.
"Uriah was a very happy guy," said a neighbor who did not wish to be identified. "I would have never thought this would have happened."
He has known the pair for at least two years. They live just below him.
"We have had a couple of beers. We have watched movies," said the neighbor. "I thought they were a great couple. I never knew anything was wrong."
A heated argument forced the teacher to request an emergency protective order.
The victim explains in the affidavit that she was threatened on November 17. She requested a police escort. When they arrived at the apartment she says they noticed things were "thrown everywhere," and a gun was missing. It was all document in the protective order affidavit.
"He will now face additional, more serious consequences because of that piece of paper," said Demro.
Harris now faces at least two felony charges including assault and battery upon a person protected by a protective order. Wednesday's hearing was continued until February 4.
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