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Estimating the Population at Risk for Violence During Child Visitation

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
New York
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 1998, $44,797)

The project will examine family court records to determine the ì
extent to which women attempting to separate from a violent ì
partner face risk of violence when fathers exercise child ì
visitation rights. Three sources of data will be used. First, ì
approximately 4,500 visitation and custody cases will be reviewed ì
and cross-checked with records of protection orders to determine ì
the proportion of women involved in custody or visitation ì
disputes who have protection orders against the non-custodial ì
parent. Secondly, the researchers will interview lawyers who ì
provide legal services to battered women in Family Court to ì
conduct a qualitative assessment of: the context in which ì
violence occurs; the risks or benefits of visitation by a father ì
who has been an abusive partner, in the perception of the ì
attorneys and of their clients; and the lawyers' experiences ì
raising these issues in court. The third source of data will be a ì
sample of 500 cases in special domestic felony courts. These ì
cases will be reviewed to determine constitution of the family, ì
the status of the relationship between the abuser and victim, and ì
the context in which violence is occuring. Particular attention ì
will be paid to violations of orders of protection. In addition ì
to providing an estimate of the magnitude of a risk factor that ì
may be faced by women attempting to separate from a violent ì
partner, this study will also inform the courts, attorneys, and ì
social service providers of potential concerns, and contribute to ì
the development of any needed changes in policy and practice.

Date Created: March 24, 1998