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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 152496 Find in a Library
Title: Court Response to Petitions for Civil Protection Orders
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1994)  Pages:503-517
Author(s): E W Gondolf; J McWilliams; B Hart; J Stuehling
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Civil protection orders offer abused women a legal means of maintaining their residences apart from the abuser and exert some autonomy in their relationships, but the implementation of civil protection order statutes remains largely unclear.
Abstract: To study the court response to petitions for civil protection orders, court records were examined for 200 petitioners randomly selected from 674 civil protection order petitions filed in Berks County, Pennsylvania, during 1990. Court dockets, court petitions, and protection orders were coded for petitioner background, court factors, case disposition, and protective provisions. About 76 percent of the petitioners received a final protection order. In most cases not receiving a protection order, petitioners withdrew or dropped their petitions. Final protection orders limited the batterer's contact in some way and prohibited future acts of abuse. However protection order provisions regarding restricted contact, child custody and visitation, financial support, and property allocation were much less extensive than requested. Relevant background and court factors were not significantly associated with case outcome, except for being in a marriage relationship. While protection orders were liberally granted, they did not appear to ensure separation from the abuser, given the low financial status of many petitioners and provisions on the abuser's visitation with or joint custody of children. It was determined that more extensive and comprehensive provisions in civil protection orders may be needed. 20 references, 3 notes, and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Abused women; Abusing spouses; Battered wives; Court orders; Domestic assault prevention; Pennsylvania
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