“The thing is, we messed up. She shouldn’t have had to wait so long,” says Eyþór Þorbergsson, representative of the chief of police in Akureyri after a woman had to wait nearly six weeks for her request for a restraining order to be processed.
Ásdís Hrönn Viðarsdóttir requested the restraining order against her former partner, with whom she lived while they were in a relationship in 2011.
She made the request because her former partner had started harassing her again after a ten-month break—and sent her over 200 messages in July after the Reykjanes District Court recently found him guilty of physical abuse, around 800 restraining order breaches, breaches against child protection laws and infringing his victim’s modesty/discretion.
The man re-started his campaign against his former partner directly following the court’s decision, leading her to apply for another restraining order in early July. More than a month later, her request still had not been processed.
Eyþór confirms that the order was finally placed on the man this Wednesday, though it still has to be officially published by the Reykjavík police, Vísir reports.
Ásdís lived with the man for around ten months in 2011 and he has been harassing her almost ever since their relationship came to an end. Her case has been closely followed, after she spoke about it on television last year, casting public attention on the plight of people who suffer from the unwanted attentions of former partners.
Eyþór admits that the request was mishandled in this case and delayed partly because he did not immediately notice which case it related to, and because he also sent it south for Reykjavík police to interview the man, which was unnecessary with hindsight.
Mistakes happen. However, Ásdís says there was another long delay in processing a restraining order request she made against the man in 2013 as well. That time round, she was never told what had caused the delay.
Unnecessary delays in the provision of personal police protection can be dangerous, potentially leaving victims open to physical abuse.
Ásdís says that since the story broke in the Icelandic media on Tuesday, the man has sent her 35 messages—including at least one after the restraining order came into effect. He has a strong history of going against restraining orders imposed against him.