Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 369–375 | Cite as

Why Victims of Intimate Partner Violence Withdraw Protection Orders

  • James C. Roberts
  • Loreen Wolfer
  • Marie Mele
Original Article


While reasons for returning to abusive partners have received considerable attention in research on intimate partner violence, few studies have examined the reasons why victims fail to follow through with the protection order process, regardless of whether or not they return to their abusive partners. Fifty-five women who were in the process of withdrawing a protection order against a male intimate partner were surveyed in the present analysis. Recognizing that reasons given for withdrawing a protection order often follow common themes, individual responses were organized into several “domains,” or groupings of such reasons. The most commonly cited domain involved a “concrete change” on behalf of the victim or defendant, which made the protection order less necessary in the victim’s view. This was closely followed by the domain addressing emotional attachment to the abuser. Implications for future research and policy are discussed.


Intimate partner violence Domestic violence Protection order Restraining order 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology/Criminal JusticeUniversity of ScrantonScrantonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Criminal JusticeMonmouth UniversityWest Long BranchUSA

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