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NCJ Number: 157471 Find in a Library
Title: When "Enough Is Enough": Battered Women's Decision Making Around Court Orders of Protection
Journal: Crime and Delinquency  Volume:41  Issue:4  Dated:special issue (October 1995)  Pages:414-429
Author(s): K Fischer; M Rose
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines factors in battered women's decisions to obtain court orders of protection.
Abstract: Obtaining a court order of protection involves a two-step process. First, there is an "emergency" or ex parte hearing; here, the victim is usually granted a short-term restraining order that does not require that the abuser be notified of the legal process. Next, the woman must return to court to obtain a more permanent order. One phase of this research surveyed a large sample of battered women (n=287) who were waiting at the courthouse after their temporary orders had been approved and their paperwork was being processed. In a brief questionnaire, they were asked to report their reasons for obtaining the order and their expectations for what that order would do for them. Their collective answers to this questionnaire suggest a complex portrait of victims; they are choosing to leave their abusers after an extensive period of abuse, which they view as escalating. Although they have doubts that the order itself will change the abuser, they believe the legal system will protect them from further violence. Nearly all the women acknowledged that they had had "enough," stating that one reason for obtaining the order was that they were "tired of the abuse." Battered women need reassurance and support that they should not have to tolerate violence and emotional abuse in their lives. In addition, authorities will often need to send this message to the abuser, both directly or through deliberate and consistent response to women's requests for legal intervention. 3 notes and 19 references
Main Term(s): Domestic assault prevention
Index Term(s): Battered wives; Decisionmaking; Restraining orders
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