Learning from Baton Rouge’s Experience with Orders of Protection

The Baton Rouge Advocate recently published an article titled Restraining orders useful but limited, which has important implications for victims of domestic violence.

Some highlights of the article include:

  1. half of the people who seek restraining orders don’t follow through to extend them beyond a very short term, or ask to have them dissolved
  2. eighty-five percent of the time the injunctions are effective in protecting victims of abuse
  3. protective orders have little deterrent value against abusers who have no fear of punishment and/or no respect for the law
  4. a not insignificant percentage of victims themselves violate injunctions by allowing their abusers to have access to them
  5. seventy-five percent of victims of domestic homicides occur when the victim leaves (or tries to end) their relationship
  6. protective orders aren’t just for the primary victim; they’re also for loved ones who live with them
  7. most states legally compel victims to testify in criminal domestic violence cases, even against a spouse