How Much Protection Do Protective Orders Provide?

Leaving a relationship can be extremely dangerous for domestic abuse victims. Domestic violence protective orders are intended to help women during this time—but advocates say the current system can also make them vulnerable to further abuse.

Feature (NATIONAL)

Kimberly Lawson
August 9, 2018

Tags: Domestic Violence

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Chicago, Philadelphia Legal Assistance


More than half of all female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner, according to a 2017 report from the CDC. Numerous studies have found that separation is often a precursor to intimate partner homicide, making it extremely dangerous for a victim of domestic violence to leave a relationship. And, as April Zeoli, an associate professor of criminal justice at Michigan State University, points out, separation often begins in the context of a restraining order. Most women file for an order of protection after “severe violence,” including physical or sexual abuse.