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Civil Protection Orders: Victims' Views on Effectiveness

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1998
2 pages
Publication Series
This study of 285 intimate-partner-violence (IPV) victims' views on the effectiveness of civil protection orders (CPOs) involved three jurisdictions across the Nation that used differing processes and service models for providing CPOs.
Before receiving a CPO, study participants had experienced abuse that ranged from intimidation to injury with a weapon. Of the men named in the CPOs filed 65 percent had an arrest history, with many deemed by the researchers to be career criminals. In initial interviews 72 percent of the women reported that their sense of well-being had improved since receiving a CPO. During follow-up interviews, this proportion increased to 85 percent; just over 90 percent reported feeling better about themselves. In the initial interviews, 72 percent of the women reported no continuing problems; in the follow-up interviews, however, the percentage dropped to 65 percent. The types of CPO violations by the abuser were reported to be calls from the abuser while the victim was at home or work, stalking the victim, repeated physical abuse, and repeated psychological abuse. The study also examined victims' use of services before and after obtaining a CPO. Seventy-eight percent of the women reported they had used at least one type of service. Assistance from friends and relatives was most frequently used. Assistance from private community services was the second most frequently used service. Researchers recommend that more be done to ensure that victims are given information about available services as well as CPOs and their enforcement through the contempt process. They also recommended a more centralized court process and direct assistance to petitioners in the development of safety plans and accessing services.

Date Published: January 1, 1998