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The psychological impact and meaning of court orders of protection for battered women

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Title: The psychological impact and meaning of court orders of protection for battered women
Author(s): Fischer, Karla
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Rappaport, Julian
Department / Program: Psychology
Discipline: Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Psychology, Social Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Personality
Abstract: Two quasi-experimental studies of battered women who seek court orders of protection were conducted, comparing women who seek a temporary order of protection, but later choose not to continue it, with those who decide to follow through with an order for an extended period of time. The first study examined the impact of the legal process required to obtain the orders on the decision to continue them (n = 287). The second study relied on extensive interviews (n = 83) to explore battered women's psychological functioning and experiences with their orders of protection. In the first study, legal process was found to be significantly related to whether or not women returned to court for a permanent order. Specifically, women were most likely to return to court when there were other women also obtaining orders of protection, when they were granted all the relief they sought in their temporary order, and when they were not required to describe their experience of abuse in an open courtroom where strangers were present. Women who had dropped previous orders of protection were also more likely to extend their orders than were women obtaining orders for the first time. Legal remedies, abuse history and family factors were also related to decisions to extend orders of protection. The results of the second study indicated that the majority of women (85%), even those who dropped their orders, had not returned to the abusive relationship. In general, the experience of obtaining the temporary order was as psychologically meaningful to those who dropped their orders as it was to those who followed through. Further results comparing single indices of psychological functioning revealed some modest differences between the two groups. Women who dropped their court orders were less likely to have disclosed the abuse to others than women who extended their orders. Although the groups did not differ with respect to global well-being, women who vacated their orders scored higher on internal locus of control than did the extend group. Discussion focuses on the role of economic, social, and psychological resources available in orders of protection. Policy implications are also outlined.
Issue Date: 1992
Type: Text
Language: English
Rights Information: Copyright 1992 Fischer, Karla
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9305524
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9305524

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