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Am J Community Psychol. 2013 Sep;52(1-2):1-12. doi: 10.1007/s10464-013-9572-8.

Council-based approaches to intimate partner violence: evidence for distal change in the system response.

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  • 1University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.


Communities across the United States are collaborating to create a coordinated response to intimate partner violence (IPV); ideally, this involves promoting best practices in the justice and human service systems and engaging a broad array of community sectors (e.g., human service; criminal justice; faith; business; education) to promote victim safety and batterer accountability (Pence, 1999). The current study examined the extent to which Family Violence Coordinating Councils resulted in change in the systems' response to IPV. Specifically, we examined judicial order of protection data from 1990 to 2005 to establish whether the formation and development of councils across the state of Illinois promoted the issuance of plenary orders of protection following the initial granting of emergency orders of protection. Such a pattern would indicate implementation of a best practice in the system response to IPV. Utilizing a multilevel logistic modeling approach, we found that the introduction and development of councils was indeed related to the accessibility of plenary orders of protection. The specific ways in which councils may have influenced such an outcome and the implications of this approach for research on council effectiveness are discussed.

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