Since there is limited research on women victims of domestic violence experiences with court proceedings in the context of criminal protection orders (POs), the current study addressed this gap by assessing whether criminal PO match (whether victims received the level PO they requested [i.e., PO match] or not [i.e., PO mismatch]) and victims’ subjective experiences of the court process were associated with their willingness to use the system in the future to address IP.
Consistent with a therapeutic jurisprudence framework, court decisions and processes can have a therapeutic or anti-therapeutic effect on intimate partner violence (IPV) victims. To maximize therapeutic effects, IPV scholars have advocated for survivor-defined practices that emphasize the importance of engaging with victims in a collaborative manner that promotes autonomy, choice, and control. In a sample of 187 women whose partners were arrested for IPV, experiencing the court processes as positive (β = .36, p = .001) and court-related fear (β = .41, p < .001) were positively associated with willingness to use the system in the future. Additionally, PO match moderated the association between subjective court experiences and willingness to use the system in the future. Experiencing the court processes as negative (b = .33, p = .005) and validating (b = –.36, p = .001) was associated with willingness to use the system in the future only for participants who did not receive the PO level they requested. While experiencing the court as positive (b = –.40, p ≤ .001) was associated with willingness to use the system regardless of PO match, it was most strongly associated for participants who did not receive the PO level they requested. Results suggest the importance of ascertaining strategies to improve victims’ experiences with the court, especially when victims’ requests are not met, to increase future engagement with the system. (Publisher Abstract)