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J Interpers Violence. 2012 Sep;27(14):2845-68. doi: 10.1177/0886260512438284. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Protection orders protect against assault and injury: a longitudinal study of police-involved women victims of intimate partner violence.

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Michigan State University/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA.


The objective of this study was to measure the efficacy of protection orders (POs) in reducing assault and injury-related outcomes using a matched comparison group and tracking outcomes over time. This study was a retrospective review of police, emergency department, family court, and prosecutor administrative records for a cohort of police-involved female IPV victims; all events over a 4-year study period were abstracted. Victims who obtained POs were compared with a propensity-score-based match group without POs over three time periods: Before, During, and After the issuance of a PO. Having a PO in place was associated with significantly more calls to police for nonassaultive incidents and more police charging requests that were of multiple-count and felony-level. Comparing outcomes, PO victims had police incident rates that were more than double the matched group prior to the PO but dropped to the level of the matched group during and after the order. ED visits dropped over time for both groups. This study confirmed the protective effect of POs, which are associated with reduced police incidents and emergency department visits both during and after the order and reduced police incidents compared with a matched comparison group.

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