Study Demonstrates Effectiveness of Protection Orders

A study on restraining orders published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002 indicates that a long-term protective order is effective, with a majority of the women who obtained permanent orders minimizing the risk of being assaulted compared to battered women without court orders.

The study of 2,691 abused women in Seattle showed that 80 percent of the women were less likely to be assaulted if they received a permanent order compared to battered women without restraining orders. The study reviewed only abuse that women reported to police. Temporary restraining orders made no difference in the risk of repeat violence, according to the report. In the study, permanent orders usually lasted up to a year while temporary orders lasted for two weeks.

According to the study, women with temporary protection orders in effect were five times more likely than women without protection orders to be psychologically abused by their partner. The conclusion of the study was that permanent, but not temporary, protection
orders are associated with a significant decrease in the risk of domestic violence against women by their partners.

About 1.5 million women in the country annually experience violence at the hands of their partners, according to JAMA, and about 20 percent of these women obtain civil protection orders.

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