U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Civil Protection Orders and Subsequent Intimate Partner Violence and Injury (From Violence Against Women and Family Violence: Developments in Research, Practice, and Policy, 2004, Bonnie Fisher, ed. -- See NCJ-199701)

NCJ Number
Date Published
9 pages
This study compared the plights of domestic-violence victims who obtained protection orders with those victims who did not obtain such orders, so as to determine characteristics that might alert clinicians and others to a woman's readiness to obtain such an order and to assess the association between obtaining a protection order and the risk of subsequent intimate partner violence and injury.
The study population consisted of women residents of Seattle, WA, who were 18 years old and older and abused or threatened by male intimate partners. The protection order group (n=477) included 214 women who obtained temporary or permanent protection orders during the study period and had a previous police-reported domestic violence incident, as well as 263 women randomly selected from the 583 women who obtained protection orders but did not have a previous police-reported incident. The group without protection orders (n=506) was a random sample of the 2,590 women who contacted the police because of intimate partner violence during the 15-month study period but who had not had a protection order related to the index incident or in the previous year. Structured telephone interviews were conducted with the women at baseline (about 1 month after the index incident) and at 4.8 months and 9.4 months after the index incident. The study found that women who had protection orders at baseline were significantly less likely than those who did not have such orders to be contacted by the abuser, to experience injury or weapons threats, and to receive abuse-related medical care between the first and second follow-up interviews. Stronger decreases in the risk of intimate partner violence were found among women with protection orders at baseline and both follow-up interviews. Women who sought protection orders were significantly more likely than those who did not to be employed, married, pregnant, and severely depressed. They were also more likely to have been threatened with violence by the abuser. Living with the abuser and being injured during the index incident were associated with a decreased likelihood of seeking a protection order. Implications of these findings are drawn for researchers and for practitioners. 17 references

Date Published: January 1, 2004