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Restraining Orders in California: A Look at Statewide Data

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 11 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2005 Pages: 912-933
Susan B. Sorenson; Haikang Shen
Date Published
July 2005
22 pages
This study obtained administrative data on all types of restraining orders in force in California on June 6, 2003.
Data were obtained from California's Domestic Violence Restraining Order System (DVROS), which contains all restraining orders issued in the State that have been delivered to and electronically entered into the database by a reporting agency. Data address the conditions of the order, the person to be protected, and the restrained person. Information is not provided on why the restraining order was sought. On June 6, 2003, there were 227,941 restraining orders against adults. All protected persons sought and were granted protection from another individual; however, not all of the restraining orders were for domestic violence. For 72.2 percent of the orders there was a restrained male and a protected female. This article provides information on the conditions of the restraining orders, prohibition against firearms purchase and possession by restrained persons, and serving the restraining order. One in six of the restraining orders recorded in DVROS had not been served, so the restrained person was unaware of being under a restraining order. The authors suggest greater use of specialized domestic violence courts in which applications for restraining orders are heard by specially trained and assigned judges or commissioners; this should increase jurisdictional consistency in the issuance and follow-up on restraining orders. 2 tables, 2 figures, 14 notes, and 31 references