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Journal Article


Cattaneo LB, Grossmann J, Chapman AR. J. Interpers. Violence 2016; 31(17): 2889-2911.


Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, USA.


(Copyright © 2016, SAGE Publishing)






Protection orders (POs) are a widely recommended and commonly used intervention for intimate partner violence (IPV), but evidence for their effectiveness is mixed. This mixed methods study used the framework of empowerment to explore the goals of petitioners who seek POs, and the extent to which one group of experts considers these goals to be a good fit with the court's intent. We collected data in three phases: (a) We conducted a qualitative study to generate a list of goals (n = 10); (b) we administered the list to a sample of IPV survivors (n = 157); and (c) we surveyed a group of attorneys (n = 10).

RESULTS showed that petitioners endorse many goals for seeking POs and that while their highest priority goals relate to safety, other nearly universally endorsed goals are more psychological in nature, such as moving on with one's life. Petitioners also use the orders to navigate complex relationships, helping themselves to set boundaries in addition to sending a clear message to respondents. Our group of lawyers viewed petitioners' highest priority goals as a relatively good fit with the system, but was fairly pessimistic about the likelihood of success. Petitioners' ratings of progress toward their goals, at the time of the PO hearing, differed markedly from lawyers' perceptions. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Language: en


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