SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Moracco, K.A., Buchanan, R.M., Espersen, C., Bowling, J.M. & Duffy, C. (2010). Who are the defendants in domestic violence protection order cases? Violence Against Women, 16(11), 1201-1223.

Summary: This article examines the distribution of defendants in domestic violence protection order cases. Utilizing data focused specifically on male domestic violence protective order (DVPO) defendants, individual characteristics were examine. The authors find that DPVO defendants typically had previous DV-related offenses, mental health issues, and substance abuse histories. The authors argue that professionals should expedited DVPO in these cases and seek treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues.

Questions to Consider:

1. Are the characteristics of DVPO defendants expected to similar if the sample were women? Why or why not?

2. What barriers might be faced when filing a DVPO that is punitive in nature but also advocating treatment for substance use and/or mental health issues?

3. Why might there be such a low percentage of DVPO granting? What can be done to increase this protection, especially in light of the fact that many plaintiffs fail to appear in  court?


Article 2: Cattaneo, L.B., Grossman, J. & Chapman, A.R. (2015). The goals of IPV survivors receiving orders of protection: An application of the empowerment process model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication.

Summary: This article extends the research of protection orders used in response to incidents of intimate partner violence. Using a mixed methods approach, the authors examine the goals of plaintiffs seeking protection orders using an empowerment framework. Results showed that plaintiffs are in favor of several goal when seeking a protection order, specifically safety, but also peripheral goals such as “moving on” with one’s life. The ratings of progress toward goals at the time of the protection order hearing was vastly different between the plaintiffs and lawyers.

Questions to Consider:

1. How might the goals of plaintiffs that were unsuccessful in seeking protection orders differ from those that were successful? Would ratings toward progress be different as well?

2. Explain how the process of (successfully) obtaining protection order can be symbolic in nature, yet effective for victims’ empowerment and safety.

3. Why might the ratings of progress toward goal differ so greatly between plaintiffs and lawyers?


Article 3: Kothari, C.L., Rhodes, K.V., Wiley, J.A., Fink, J., Overholt, S., Dichter, M.E., Marcus, S.C. & Cerulli, C. (2012). Protection orders protect against assault and injury:  A longitudinal study of police-involved women victims of intimate partner violenceJournal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(14), 2845-2868.

Summary: This article examines the use of protection orders and their effectiveness in reducing the incidence of assault and other crimes in which victim injury is an outcome. Using records from a variety of sources, the current study follows a cohort of police-involved victims of intimate partner violence over a 4-year period. The authors find that individuals with protection orders generally made more calls to police for incidents that did not involve an assault and that requests for charges were for more severe and multiple counts. Victims that sought a protection order also showed victimization rates more than double those that never had a protection order, however victimization levels were reduced one the protection order went into effect.

Questions to Consider:

1. Why should intimate partner violence research consider health-related outcomes as well as legal outcomes?

2. Why might the presence of a protection order be linked to changes in police response and victims’ behavior? Are both to be expected?

3. How can emergency departments become better equipped to serve victims of intimate partner violence if they are not yet ready to “go public”?