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Protecting Children of Domestic Violence Victims with Criminal No-Contact Orders

NCJ Number
Toolsi Gowin Meisner; Diana Korn
Date Published
April 2011
8 pages
This article discusses how children of domestic violence victims can be protected by the use of criminal not-contact orders.
This article presents an overview of the laws that allow prosecutors to use criminal no-contact orders to protect children of domestic violence victims. In most jurisdictions, criminal no-contact orders are often used as a condition of a defendant's pre-trial release. The laws governing these orders generally fall into one of two categories: those that mandate or permit a court to issue a protective order prohibiting a defendant charged with domestic violence from contacting the victim, and those that cover both the victim and any children that may be affected by the violence. When domestic violence incidences involve children, prosecutors can, at their discretion, use criminal statutes to include the children in the no-contact order or file separate child abuse or endangerment charges against the defendant. These laws can also be used against a defendant when the child has been a witness to domestic violence, or if the defendant could continue to use the child as an instrument to further exert coercive control over the victim. The article provides information on ways that prosecutors can use these laws to protect children of domestic violence victims. 64 Endnotes