Civil protective order effectiveness: Justice or just a piece of paper?

T. K. Logan, Robert Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Many victims, victim advocates, and even law enforcement believe that protective orders are "just a piece of paper," suggesting that they do not work or are not effective. This study examined protective order effectiveness by following 210 women for 6 months after obtaining a protective order. There are four main themes that were identifi ed from the study results. First, protective orders were not violated for half of the women in the sample during the 6-month follow-up period. Second, even among those who experienced violations, there were signifi cant reductions in abuse and violence. Third, overall, women were less fearful of future harm from the PO partner at the 6-month follow-up, and a vast majority felt the protective order was fairly or extremely effective. Fourth, stalking emerges as a signifi cant risk factor for protective order violations, sustained fear, and lower perceived effectiveness of the protective order. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-348
Number of pages17
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Domestic violence
  • Partner violence
  • Protection order
  • Stalking protective orders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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