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Who Are the Defendants in Domestic Violence Protection Order Cases?

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2010
23 pages
This study describes the characteristics of defendants in domestic violence protective order (DVPO) cases, particularly their histories of mental health issues, substance use, and previous involvement with the criminal justice system.
Domestic violence protective orders (DVPOs) are the Nation’s most widely used intimate partner violence (IPV)-related legal intervention, and there is emerging evidence that DVPOs are effective. However, little is known about DVPO defendants. The authors examined a population-based sample of male DVPO defendants. Most had previous IPV-related offenses, mental health issues, and alcohol and drug-use histories. Court personnel should be aware of the severity of violence plaintiffs are likely experiencing, and the potential danger posed by defendants, and ensure that expedited and appropriate protection is awarded. Concurrent treatment for substance abuse and mental health may enhance the effectiveness of DVPOs. (Published Abstract) Tables and references

Date Published: November 1, 2010