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DV Restraining Orders

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Desi Gallardo

on 8 September 2012

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Transcript of DV Restraining Orders

Bettinger-Lopez, C. (2008). Jessica Gonzalez v. United States: An emerging model for domestic violence and human rights advocacy in the United States. Harvard Human Rights Journal, 21(2), 183-195.

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. (2012). Abuse in California Rates of Domestic Violence. Retrieved from http://www.cpedv.org/Statistics

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Danis, F. S. (2003). The criminalization of domestic violence: What social workers need to know. Social Work, 48(2), 237-246.

Domestic Violence against Women and Girls. (2000). Innocenti Research Centre. Retrieved from : http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/digest6e.pdf

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National Coaliation of Anti-Violence Programs. (2005). The prevalence of LGBT domestic violence. Retrieved July 21, 2012, from http://ncavp.org/issues/DomesticViolence.aspx
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Sorenson, S. B., & Haikang, S. (2005). Restraining Orders in California. Violence Against Women, 11(7), 912-933. doi:10.1177/1077801205276944

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Talwar, Mandeep (2007). Improving the enforcement of restraining orders after Castle Rock v. Gonzalez. Family Court Review, 45, 322-334.

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Restraining Order. Retrieved from
Philip Chang, Cassandra De Vita, Desi Gallardo,
Ari Lloyd, & Noemi Mitzel Domestic Violence
Restraining Orders Pros Background & Context Groups most affected... Cons Internationally: Based on census conducted by United National Children’s Fund in 2000, 20-50% of women are victims of DV across the world (UNICEF: Domestic violence against women and girls, 2000) Within the United States: Every 9 seconds a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten (Domestic Violence Statistics, 2012).
Every day, there are more than 3 women murdered in the US by their husbands or boyfriends (Domestic Violence Statistics, 2012).
As a result of male children witnessing domestic violence, they are twice as likely as adults to abuse their wives than men who were raised in a home without domestic violence (Domestic Violence Statistics, 2012).
1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence during their lifetime (Domestic Violence Statistics, 2012)
Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted each year in the US (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012). Rates of IPV (U.S. Department of Justice, 2012): Approximately 40% of California women experience physical intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.
Largest age group: 18-24 years old
75 % of victims experiencing DV had children under the age of 18 living at home. Within California: Based on California Women‘s Health Survey in 2012 (California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, 2012) Who's at risk of DV? Those under the age of 35, your odds are increased if you are single, separated, or divorced
Those who do not have insurance
Receiving medical assistance such and Medi-Cal or Medicare
Having more physical problems puts you at a higher risk
Having higher scores of depression, anxiety, somatization, and low self-esteem
A victim of domestic violence is more likely to have a partner abusing alcohol or drugs
Abusing drugs themselves
Abusing alcohol
Have attempted suicide in the past (McCauley & Kern, 1995) A concise list of risk factors may be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/intimatepartnerviolence/riskprotectivefactors.html 1. Women who seek restraining orders are not really abused but want a quick way to get custody of their children.
2. Battered women rarely follow through with the hearing; hence, they waste the court's time.
3. Compared to men, battered women are awarded unfair stipulations and benefits in restraining orders because of judicial bias and the presence of an attorney.
4. Restraining orders are not effective and may cause more problems for victims " " (Postmus, 2007, p. 348). According to Postmus (2007), “restraining orders provide some level of protection for battered women [and] should be part of a range of options for battered women to choose how best to remain safe from further abuse.” (p. 353-354). however... Women who seek restraining orders actually have been abused (Postmus, 2007).

DV victim may not attend their court hearings for reasons that include “fear or concerns that a final order will not stop the abuse, problems with service by law enforcement personnel, frustrations with the criminal justice system, or concerns about financial or time constraints” (Postmus, 2007, p. 350).

Although there are many different stipulations that are requested by the petitioners, not all are granted. “[J]udges do not routinely grant stipulations in favor of women; instead, they rely on the court processes” to make their determinations (Postmus, 2007, p. 352). The reality it is important to remove any negative assumptions regarding DVRO's. If not, we risk discouraging an indidividual in need of protection to attain one. This decision could be a life altering decision. It is better to be safe than sorry. therefore... The enforcement of restraining orders rests upon the personal discretion of the police officers who receive the calls (Talwar, 2007). Having a restraining order does not always guarantee safety from harm. The issuance of a restraining order depends on the victim's ability to pursue the filing process. Once he/she terminates the process, the court protection is removed. Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by
one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating. (http://www.domesticviolence.org/definition/) According to Postmus (2007) there are four different negative assumptions regarding domestic violence restraining orders. These assumptions are: A domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) is a civil court order that is signed by a judge and tells the abuser to stop the abuse or face serious legal consequences. It offers civil legal protection from domestic violence to both female and male victims.
(http://www.womenslaw.org/) Constitutional laws relevant to DVRO Restraining orders are effective as a stopgap in domestic violence situations, until a "concrete change" (Roberts & Mele, 2008, p.369), such as divorce, relocation or lasting behavioral change, can be put in place. U.S. Constitution 14th amendment is central to DVRO policy issues.
Sections 1 and 5 require substantive due process (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1) and give congress the “right to enforce” the 14th amendment (U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 5).
Section 4 states that"The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence." (http://www.domesticviolenceclause.org/) Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) I in 1994 and VAWA II in 2000 (Bugundi, 2002).
The VAWA I was the first federal law that broadly dealt with gender-based violence against women (Bugundi, 2002).
The Full Faith and Credit Clause has been applied to orders of protection for which the clause was invoked by VAWA, and child support, for which enforcement of the clause was spelled out in the Federal Full Faith and Credit and Child Support Order Act.
Christopher Baily was the first person to be convicted under the VAWAI in violation of a restraining order—found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for assaulting, kidnapping, and bringing her in the trunk of his car across state borders into Kentucky in December, 1994 (Bugundi, 2002). Commonly Referenced Case Law: Violence Against Women Act Relevant Policy Issues How Has the Violence Against Women Act Affected the Response of the Criminal Justice System to Domestic Violence? The Castle Rock v. Gonzalez court decisions reinforced the U.S. attitude that domestic violence is ultimately a private matter.
The 2005 merit decision by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights raises the question of whether or not it is a person’s human right (not only civil right) to have protective orders enforced by state and federal courts as an extension of his/her entitlement to her civil and human rights. Is domestic violence a private or a public matter? Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey from 1992 to 2003 is used. P125

The rate of domestic violence appears to be declining. From 1993 to 1997 the domestic violence incidence rate fell from 9.8 to 7.5 per 1,000 women (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000). P126-127
Burt et al. (1996) evaluated federal and state implementation of a variety of federal programs and found that more than $23.5 million had been provided to states through federal grants during the first year of the implementation in 1995. P127
The Violence Against Women Office reports that federal funds for domestic violence programs have dramatically increased to $1.6 billion in the 5 years since passage of the VAWA (as cited in Clark, Biddle,&Martin, 2002). P 127
Having estimated the economic benefits associated with the VAWA to be approximately $16.4 billion in the 5 years since its inception, the authors concluded that its provisions are a cost-effective and beneficial public policy. P127
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2000), between 1993 and 1998 only about half of all victims of domestic violence reported the crime to the police. However, reporting increased from 48% of victims in 1993 to 59% of victims in 1998. Similarly, since the 1970s the rates of reporting rape cases to the police increased (Baumer, Felson, & Messner, 2003), and accelerated during the 1990s. p127 Postmus (2007) summarizes four implications for social workers that will give them the tools needed to advocate for for domestic violence victims.

Implication #1.
It is important for social workers to assess how long and severe the domestic violence is. If the abuse is in fact severe and long lasting, a restraining order may not be enough. Postmus (2007), recommends that the victim be “prudent to pursue relief through the criminal court instead of relying on the restraining order alone for protection” (p.354). Social Work Implications of the DVRO Implication #2.
It is important for social workers to train various community members that come in contact with domestic violence victims. These members include police officers, judges, doctors, nurses, and other community based organizations. Postmus (2007), states that “further training is also needed to emphasize the iprtance fo the courts and the police enforcing final protection orders.” (p.354). Implication #3.
Social workers need to be familiarized with local attornies that can help victims of domestic violence. It is very difficult to locate pro-bono attorneys that can help a victim to file DVRO's. It is also important for social workers to know where clients can access forms in various languages with easy to understand instructions on the DVRO procedures. Postmus (2007) adds that “even with mixed messages about the use of attorneys, advocates should continue to collaborate with attorneys to provid minimal assurance that battered women will be heard in court.” (p.354). Other implications: Often domestic violence has been characterized as a heterosexual women’s problem.
While women in heterosexual relationships account for a very large proportion of the individuals victimized by domestic violence in the world today, the LGBTQ community also reports high rates of domestic abuse.
In addition, the LGBTQ community also experiences other layers of oppression caused by a large deficit in the ability of those in the social service, criminal justice and medical personnel field to serve LGBTQ victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence advocates may not be aware of the differences in access and legal protections available to the LGBTQ community and therefore may refer them/manage their cases inappropriately. Ideas/Vision/Recommendation At the macro level, we recommend that social workers support laws and policies which provides protection and justice to victims of domestic violence. An example of these type of laws include California Assembly Bill 108 which accoding to Sorenson & Shen,(2005), “includes persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders to make it a public offense for any person to purchase or to attempt to purchase a firearm knowing that he or she is subject to a restraining order.” (p. 916). These laws are a step in the right direction in terms of protecting domestic violence victims. These are the type of policies and laws we recommend that social workers support. Micro Mezzo Macro At the micro level, social workers should be familiarized with domestic violence laws, policies, and restraining orders procedures. Also, social workers should be familiarized with other community based organizations that provide emergency shelters and safe houses for domestic violence victims. At the mezzo level, we agree to the recommendations made by Danis (2003) which suggests that “social workers should advocate for linguistically and culturally appropriate services for both the victims and batterers.” (p.243). In addition, Danis recommends that social workers encourage various community organizations to collaborate together to help domestic violence victims. A DVRO is temporary and not a permanent solution to domestic violence.
Implication #4.
The last implication mentioned by Postmus (2007) is that “advocates should listen to what battered women say about their own situations and desires to obtain restraining orders.” It is important for social workers to listen to their clients and to keep their own biases to themselves. Postmus notes that “women want to have some measure of control of their lives.” As social workers, we need to empower our clients by allowing them to make their own decisions in regards to obtaining a DVRO. (p.355). (National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 2005) (National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 2005) References
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