Table 1

Summary of Studies Related to Violation of Protection Orders

ReferencesSample Size; SettingStudy DesignStudy LimitationsStudy FindingsVariables Related to Violation of Protection Orders
Holt et al.5N = 2691; IPV
  • Retrospective study

  • IPV reports in Seattle over 16-month period

  • PO group vs. no-PO control

  • Police record review

  • 1 year follow-up from date of IPV report

  • Record review only

  • Study does not include any information on violations that were not reported to police

  • No information on which subjects may have been lost to follow-up

  • Intervention and control groups may have had different reporting rates for violation

  • Lack of complete information on demographics

Permanent PO associated with 80% reduction in police-reported violence during follow-up periodTime: may be increased risk for violation in period immediately after PO placement
Horton et al.112 studies (1) N = 68 (2) N = 144; IPV
  • Two studies (1 and 2)

  • Prospective from date of temporary PO filing

  • Noncontrolled

  • Review of petition (1), observation of court proceedings (1), victim interview (1), victim questionnaire (2)

  • Data collected within 1 year of enrollment (1) and questionnaire completed over 26-month period (2)

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • Two samples with different measures

  • Sample 2 had only 24% response rate, with no information on how nonresponders may have differed from participants

  • Significant reduction in police contact after temporary PO: 66% (1) and 50% (2) had no further police contact

  • 38% had no further contact with defendant, 24% had infrequent contact, 22% saw defendant frequently, and 16% were living with defendant (1)

  • 19% allowed defendant to return home (2)

Chaudhuri and Daly12N = 30; IPV
  • Prospective from date of temporary PO filing

  • Noncontrolled

  • Interviews at 1 week and 2 months after filing; review of court affidavits were also reviewed

  • 2-month study duration

  • No comparison group that did not have POs filed

  • Small sample size

  • Descriptive study; no statistical analyses reported

  • Short follow-up period

37% of POs violatedViolator factors: more likely to have a criminal history, less than full time employment, substance abuse, violence history
Kaci13N = 224; IPV
  • Retrospective pre/post evaluation

  • Court record review

  • 6 months before and 18 months after temporary PO application

  • Record review only

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • Study focused on placement of PO and not on violation

  • Not able to account for whether subjects were in jurisdiction for duration of study period

7.14% of POs violatedN/A
Tjaden and Thoennes14N = 15,776; Stalking
  • Retrospective study of random sample of U.S. households

  • Telephone interview

  • Single interview

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • Sample includes only those with access to phones

  • Recall bias: questions related to lifetime exposure to violence

  • No data from court records on POs to assist with validation of victim responses

  • 68.7% violation of POs for female victims

  • 81.3% violation of POs for male victims

Victim factors: male victim more likely to have order violated by defendant
Meloy et al.15N = 200; PO defendants (78% IPV)
  • Retrospective pre/post design

  • Record review of criminal proceedings in temporary restraining order cases

  • Random sample of defendants with POs lasting >3 years

  • Records examined 3 years before and 3 years after PO

  • Record review only, so no identification of characteristics that may contribute to long duration POs

  • Sample only included those with long-duration POs in place

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • Only 36 of 200 subjects committed victim related crimes

  • Analysis based on small subset of cases

18% of POs violated
  • Violator factors: male, prior arrests, substance-abuse history, and contact with mental health system increased risk of violation; race not predictive of violent behavior after PO placement

  • Legal system factors: nonmutual protection orders more likely to be violated

Harrell and Smith16N = 497;355 female victims,142 male defendants;IPV
  • Prospective

  • Interviews; review of court documents and police records

  • Convenience sample of female complainants and male defendants

  • Interview at 3 months after PO; women interviewed one year later

  • Complex subject group—no clear relationship between defendants and victims

  • No information on whether PO still in place at time of victim-reported contact

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • No information on the large percentage of identified women who refused to participate in study (43%); no info given on rate of refusal for male defendants

  • 77% of women and 71% of men reported some contact at 3 months after a temporary PO and >50% unwanted contact in that time frame

  • 75% of women with a permanent PO reported some contact within the first year of the order

  • Time: temporary PO more likely to be associated with psychological abuse than permanent PO; risk higher shortly after PO initiation

  • Relationship Factors: severity of violence predicted severity of subsequent violence; suggested that biological children more common in violation; cohabitation decreased the likelihood of abuse

  • Violator factors: high resistance at the hearing increased violation

  • Legal system factors: women reporting need for more protection more likely to report severe violence; women's positive rating of police predicted lower probability of severe violence; arrest at the time of incident that led to PO led to decreased risk of severe violence

Klein17N = 663; IPV
  • Record review of court documents

  • All cases where a PO was obtained during a single calendar year

  • Defendant tracking for 2 years after PO placement

  • Record review only

  • Unclear whether PO in place at time of re-abuse or arrest for re-abuse

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • 48.8% re-abused victims within 2 years

  • 34% arrested for re-abuse

  • Violator factors: younger age, criminal history, substance abuse associated with re-abuse

  • Legal system factors: court-ordered no-contact provisions more likely to result in re-abuse than contact permitted

Carlson et al.18N = 210; IPV
  • Retrospective observational study

  • Convenience sample of cases in which POs filed against intimate male partners

  • Court and police reports

  • Data from 2 years before and 2 years after PO filing

  • Record review only

  • Sample only included those with police contact over the 2 years before filing of PO

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

23% of POs violated
  • Victim factors: very low SES, black race associated with higher risk of re-victimization; presence of biological children with defendant increased violation risk

  • Legal system factors: arrest of the violator before the initiation of the PO increased risk of future violation for subset of victims with low SES

  • Order type: permanent PO associated with decrease in violence among subset of victims with low SES

  • Relationship factors: 5 or more years in a relationship decreased violence, but not for the lowest SES group

Grau et al.19N = 270; IPV
  • Retrospective observational study

  • Live interviews were conducted with battered women in four states

  • Single interview approximately 4 months after contact with IPV program

  • Selection bias: sample taken from only those involved in IPV project

  • Recall bias: varied time of interviews after contact with IPV program

  • No validation of interview with court documents

  • Short follow-up period

56% of POs violatedRelationship factors: women with less severe prior injury were re-abused 44% of the time compared with 67% with more severe prior injuries, and 59% of women not receiving PO's were re-abused
McFarlane et al.20N = 150; IPV
  • Prospective observational study

  • Women who had obtained a PO

  • Telephone interviews

  • 3, 6, 12, and 18 months after PO obtained

  • No validation of subject responses with court documents

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • Recall bias

  • Strict criteria for obtaining POs in jurisdiction of this study

  • Rates of PO violation: 44% overall, 21% at 3 months

  • 20% at 6 months, 25% at 12 months, 23% at 18 months

  • 5% reported a violation at each time period

Time: for 18 months after applying for PO, victims experienced significant decreases in levels of violence
Holt et al.21N = 448; IPV
  • Prospective cohort study

  • Random sample of women who had police contact for IPV (and no PO) and women who obtained a temporary/permanent PO

  • Live and telephone interviews

  • 9-month follow-up period from time of original IPV incident

  • Recall bias

  • No validation of interviewer responses with court documents

  • Moderate duration of follow-up period

  • Differential loss to follow-up between study groups

  • 79.6% of POs violated within the first 5 months

  • 60.1% of POs violated between 5 and 9 months

Time: longer PO duration predicted lower rates of violent abuse but not unwanted phone calls.
Isaac et al.22N = 18,369; PO defendants
  • Descriptive study

  • Review of PO database in Massachusetts

  • 0–6 months of follow-up

  • Database review only

  • Variable follow-up period

  • No data on those who left jurisdiction

  • 10% of POs violated at 3 months

  • 15.4% of POs violated as a cumulative probability by 6 months

Time: overall probability of violation highest in first 3 months
Logan et al.23N = 757; IPV with and without stalking
  • Retrospective cohort

  • Women who had obtained POs

  • Interview survey

  • One time interviews conducted over 5-week period

  • Recall bias

  • No comparison group that did not have POs in place

  • No validation of responses using court documents

  • No follow-up

  • Remote stalking cases excluded from study group

  • 17.4% of POs violated for women who reported that they had not been stalked

  • 35.9% of POs violated for women who reported that they had been stalked

Relationship factors: stalking associated with more severe violence
Mears et al.24N = 336; IPV
  • Retrospective, controlled, observational study

  • PO case filings and arrests (without PO filings) for IPV

  • Police and court records

  • 10 years before and 2 years following PO

  • Record review only

  • Comparison group (those without POs) consisted of sampling of 25 cases/month rather than all cases

  • No information on whether subjects were in jurisdiction for duration of study period

N/AVictim factors: women from low SES households at higher risk for re-victimization; increased incidence of re-abuse if victim had substance abuse history; black race associated with increased risk for re-abuse; age and prior abuse not linked to re-victimization rates
  • IPV, intimate partner violence; PO protection order; SES socioeconomic status.