Engaging Respondents in Civil Restraining Order Cases A New Approach to Victim Safety

Engaging respondents in civil restraining order cases


More and more victims of intimate partner violence are turning to courts for civil orders for protection. These orders are often a first course of action for victims who want the violence to stop but who do not necessarily want to involve the police. Usually, these orders serve their function and the "respondent" ends the violent behavior. In some cases, however, respondents ignore court orders and may even become more violent. This publication explores how the Dorchester Municipal Court in Dorchester, Massachusetts, partnered with a non-profit agency to better engage respondents to reduce violations and violence following a request for a civil order for protection. It is part of the Judicial Oversight Demonstration Initiative's four-part series Enhancing Responses to Domestic Violence.