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Intimate Partner Violence Against Immigrant Women: Measuring the Effectiveness of Protection Orders

NCJ Number
American Journal of Family Law Volume: 16 Issue: 4 Dated: 2002 Pages: 244-252
Judith McFarlane; Ann Malecha; Julia Gist; Kathy Watson; Elizabeth Batten; Iva Hall; Sheil Smith
Date Published
9 pages

This article explores battered immigrant women's use of protection orders.


This study presents an exploratory view of battered immigrant women's knowledge of protection orders, the reasons leading them to file for protection orders, the remedies they sought in the protection orders, their views on what would improve the process of obtaining protection orders, and their experiences with the violations of protection. Results show that more than one-fourth or 28 percent of a multi-ethnic sample of abused women applying for protection orders were first generation immigrants. Other results showed some commonalties between battered immigrant women's experiences and abused women from mainstream cultures in the United States. Following contact with a justice agency and application for a protection order results show that levels of violence fell significantly for these immigrant women and remained low for 6 months. Not only was the decrease in violence scores following contact with justice services for immigrant women comparable to U.S. born women, immigrant women reported significantly less stalking at 3 and 6 months after application for the protection order. Data were collected from 149 women who were re-interviewed at the 3 and 6 month marker. Figures, references, and endnotes