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Protective Orders and Domestic Violence: Risk Factors for Re-Abuse

Abstract

One of the few legal tools for protecting victims of domestic violence is the civil Protection Order (PO). How effective they were in preventing re-abuse was analyzed by examining court and police records from 210 couples in which female victims (or “applicants”) filed POs against their violent partners. Police records for 2 years prior and two years following the issuance of a PO were reviewed. Results indicated a significant decline in the probability of abuse following a PO. Prior to filing a PO, 68% of the women reported physical violence. After filing, only 23% reported physical violence. Several risk factors were assessed and it was found that very low SES women were more likely to report re-abuse as were African-Americans.

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Carlson, M.J., Harris, S.D. & Holden, G.W. Protective Orders and Domestic Violence: Risk Factors for Re-Abuse. Journal of Family Violence 14, 205–226 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022032904116

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022032904116

  • domestic violence
  • protective order
  • legal intervention
  • physical violence