Domestic Violence

Resource Guide

While the legal definitions of domestic violence can vary between states, the National Center for State Courts’ State Court Guide to Statistical Reporting 2009 defines “domestic violence” as “criminal cases involving violence, coercion, or intimidation by a family or household member against another family or household member.” State courts are becoming more efficient in how they handle domestic violence cases through improved practices and procedures for restraining orders, improved monitoring of batterer-intervention programs, stricter enforcement of firearms-relinquishment laws and orders, and greater use of technology. Courts are increasingly aware that approaches that involve community stakeholders, such as law-enforcement and social services, as well as strategies improving collaborations across child-welfare and domestic-violence agencies and dependency courts are necessary to enhance cross-system understanding and interactions.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Links

Effective Adjudication of Domestic Abuse Cases. (2014).

This domestic violence curriculum for judges was developed by The American Judges Association, with the assistance of Futures Without Violence, and the National Center for State Courts. The no-cost training modules focus on key issues and allow new and experienced judges to learn at their own pace from leading national experts.

Domestic Violence & The Courtroom Knowing The Issues... Understanding The Victim. (2013).

American Judges Association. This educational booklet provides information about victims of domestic violence and stresses the need for sensitivity and understanding for the victims who appear before the court. This booklet will help a judge to promote zero tolerance of domestic violence and provide a courtroom sensitive to the needs and safety of the victim.

 

VAWA and the Courts.

This sites brings together information and resources developed through ongoing NCSC projects and past initiatives to improve court policy and practice related to violence against women issues. This site is organized by statewide, cross-jurisdictional and local efforts focus areas with additional information sources and links to other organizations.

Intimate Partner Violence 1993-2011. (November 2013). Bureau of Justice Statistics

This report examines nonfatal intimate partner violence, including rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

Uekert, Brenda K. Court Interpretation in Protection Order Hearings Benchcard. (2006). National Center for State Courts A useful benchcard for judges presented in a question-and-answer format. 

General

Family Violence Legislative Update. (October 2013). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. This report tracks 2012 family violence legislation and trends.
Klein, Andrew Enforcing Domestic Violence Firearm Prohibitions . (2006). Office On Violence Against Women This report highlights promising practices employed around the country that represent innovative approaches to enforcing domestic violence firearms prohibitions.
Benchbooks by state. National Organization for Women Foundation Links to Domestic Violence benchbooks by state.
Bridging Theory and Practice: A Roundtable about Court Responses to Domestic Violence. Center for Court Innovation This roundtable conversation brought together leading figures from the world of domestic violence, including judges, prosecutors, researchers and representatives of batterer programs, to identify new ways for courts to respond to domestic violence, particularly in cases where incarceration is not a realistic goal.
Special Collection: The Intersection of Domestic Violence and the Military: Working Across Disciplines. National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women This collection of resources provides information related to best practices when addressing the issues of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST) among returning veterans and the implications for the domestic violence field.

Arrest Prosecution Sentencing

Peterson, Richard Evaluation of Brooklyn’s Video Statement Program for DV Cases, Research Brief Series 29. (May 2012). NY City Criminal Justice Agency This report looks at the effect on conviction rate of having selected defendants make a video statement about the incident.
O`Sullivan, Chris S. et al. A Comparison of Two Prosecution Policies in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence. (September 2007). This report provides a comparison of prosecution policies in the two New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx. The policies of mandatory filing versus following the victim's lead are analyzed.

Batterer Intervention

MacLeod, Dag et al. Batterer Intervention Systems in California: An Evaluation. (2009). Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts This report looks at a sample of over a thousand men enrolled in treatment programs across five California jurisdictions.
Labriola, Melissa et al. Court Responses to Batterer Program Non-Compliance. (March 2007). Center for Court Innovation This publication provides a national perspective of court responses to batterer program noncompliance.
Cissner, Amanda B., and Nora K. Puffett. Do Batterer Program Length or Approach Affect Completion or Re-Arrest Rates?. (September 2006). Center for Court Innovation This report provides a comparison of outcomes between defendants sentenced to two batterer programs in Brooklyn.
Labriola, Melissa et al. Testing the Effectiveness of Batterer Programs and Judicial Monitoring. (November 2005). Center for Court Innovation This report provides the results from a randomized trial at the Bronx Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court.
Uekert, Brenda, Penny Wentland, and Susan Keilitz. Evaluation of Pennsylvania's Protection from Abuse. (March 2004).

Sixty-two Pennsylvania counties were surveyed in regard to the Protection from Abuse Database (PFAD). Responses pertain to implementation, PFAD usage, satisfaction with PFAD, advantages and disadvantages, and future plans. Counties currently inactive in the PFAD program were surveyed to better understand the reasons for their lack of participation in PFAD.

Do Batterer Intervention Programs Work--Two Studies. (September 2003). National Institute of Justice, Research for Practice This report tests the effectiveness of two intervention programs in New York and Florida.

Child Custody Visitation

A Judicial Guide to Child Safety in Custody Cases. (2008). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges This guide was designed to guide judges in exploring child safety risks in cases involving domestic violence.
Dalton, Clare et al. Navigating Custody and Visitation in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge`s Guide. (2006). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. A practical guide for judges on how to interpret and act on professional child-custody evaluations when domestic violence is involved in family-law cases.
Custody Decisions in Cases with Domestic Violence Allegations. American Bar Association A state-by-state chart providing information on the legal definition of domestic violence,  state statutes relating to custody decisions, and how courts factor in domestic violence in custody decisions.

Children and Domestic Violence

An Exploratory Study of Juvenile Orders of Protection as a Remedy for Dating Violence. (April 2013).

This study examined all orders of protection (OPs) taken out by New York dating violence victims in 2009 and 2010 and represents the first study of its kind to examine OPs involving teens for dating violence.

Scott, Katreena and Fernando Mederos (June 2012) Parenting Interventions for Men Who Batter. (June 2012). VAWnet.org (National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women This applied research policy paper synthesizes the information on theories and types of parenting intervention programs available for batterers.
Hamby, Sherry et al. Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence. (October 2011). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice Bulletin This Bulletin discusses the National Sur­vey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), the most comprehensive nationwide survey of the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure.
Children Exposed to Domestic Violence Are at Greatly Increased Risks for All Other Forms of Child Abuse and Family Violence. (2010). University of New Hampshire Crimes against Children Research Center The results of this research appear in an article in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect and show an overlap between witnessing domestic violence and child maltreatment and victimization.
Snyder, Howard N. and Carl McCurley Domestic Assaults by Juvenile Offenders . (November 2008). Juvenile Justice Bulletin This report is based on the FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and looks at juvenile offenders and domestic violence
Lowry, Stacy M. and Olga Trujillo Cross System Dialogue: An Effective Strategy to Promote Communication between the Domestic Violence Community, Child Welfare System, and the Courts. (2008). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges This report describes the cross system dialogue strategy for reducing conflict and promoting communication between child welfare agencies, domestic violence representatives and the court system.
Goodmark, Leigh and Ann Rosewater Bringing the Greenbook to Life: A Resource Guide for Communities. (May 2008). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges This guide documents efforts to implement the Greenbook recommendations in six federally funded demonstration sites for families suffering both domestic violence and child maltreatment.
Ver Steegh, Nancy and Clare Dalton Report from the Wingspread Conference on Domestic Violence and Family Courts. (February 2007). This report summarizes the findings of the  working group brought together by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts .  Five central issues are identified and discussed.
Uekert, Brenda et al. Juvenile Domestic and Family Violence: The Effects of Court Based Intervention Programs on Recidivism. (July 2006).

This report includes a literature review and discusses the juvenile justice system response, intervention, and recidivism.

Summers, Alicia. Children`s Exposure to Domestic Violence. (2006). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges This guide to research and resources covers the impact of domestic violence on children, legal issues affecting children, and system responses.
Hitches, Hon. Donna, and Dr. Patricia Van Horn. The Court`s Role in Supporting and Protecting Children Exposed to Domestic Violence. (2005). Journal of the Center for Families, Children, and the Courts 6 This article discusses parenting and predicting child abuse in domestic-violence families and provides strategies for handling domestic-violence cases involving children. Appendices include a screening form for domestic violence used by the San Francisco Superior Court's Family Court Services, as well as a model protocol for communication between courts in domestic-violence and child-custody cases. 

Coordinated Community Response

Crowe, Anne H. et al Community Corrections Response to Domestic Violence: Guidelines for Practice. (May 2009). American Probation and Parole Association This report provides guidelines to develop or enhance effective community supervision programs for domestic violence cases.  
Ann Rosewater and Leigh Goodmark. Steps Toward Safety: Improving Systemic and Community Responses for Families Experiencing Domestic Violence . (2007). The Family Violence Prevention Fund This report discusses new understandings, practices, and collaborations for dealing with domestic violence. Challenges from recent efforts and lessons learned from past efforts are also discussed.
Coordinated Community Response. (2006). Stop Violence Against Women Provides a host of recent resources on coordinated community response to domestic violence, including benefits to this model, adoption of the Duluth Model, goals and strategies, etc.

Domestic Violence Courts

Cissner, Amanda B. Melissa Labriola, and Michael Rempel Testing the Effects of New York’s Domestic Violence Courts: A Statewide Impact Evaluation. (February 2013). Center for Court Innovation. The study is a quasi-experimental evaluation of 24 domestic violence courts throughout New York State.
Stearns County Felony Domestic Violence Court.

This program supervises a core group of the most dangerous repeat felony domestic violence offenders with close judicial and probationary supervision, surveillance, weekly offender accountability check-ins, and an extended slate of victim support services to enhance victim safety.

Labriola, Melissa, et al. A National Portrait of Domestic Violence Courts. (February 2010). Center for Court Innovation This study looks at specialized criminal domestic violence courts and describes their evolution, rational and varied operations.  A companion document A National Compendium of Domestic Violence Courts (2009) is included and provides contact information for 208 criminal domestic violence courts identified as of December 2009.
Shelton, Honorable Donald. The Current State of Domestic Violence Courts in the United States, 2007. (February 2007).

This document provides comprehensive information on domestic violence courts including: their history, different models, and the current status of identified domestic violence courts in the U.S. Paper submitted to the NCSC documents database with the permission of the author.

Keilitz, Susan et al. Specialization of Domestic Violence: Case Management in the Courts: A National Survey. (2000). National Center for State Courts This report provides information about the specialized processes in courts across the country used to manage and adjudicate domestic violence cases.
Levey, Lynn, Martha Steketee, and Susan Keilitz. Lessons Learned in Implementing an Integrated Domestic Violence Court: The District of Columbia Experience. (2000).

Guidebook highlights issues courts and communities should consider when addressing problems of domestic violence. Based on a study of the Domestic Violence Unit of the D.C. Superior Court.

Steketee, Martha, Lynn Levey, and Susan Keilitz. Implementing an Integrated Domestic Violence Court: Systemic Changes in the District of Columbia. (June 2000).

This study addresses three interrelated components of a domestic violence unit - intake, a specialized clerk's office, and dedicated courtrooms and judicial assignments.

Elder Domestic Violence

Fernandez-Lanier, Adriana 2008 Domestic Incident Reports Involving Elderly Victims. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (February 2010).  This report examines domestic incidents involving victims 65 years or older that were reported to law enforcement in 2008 in New York state.

Organizations

Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse Electronic Clearinghouse. MINCAVA This very comprehensive electronic clearinghouse provides information on violence and abuse. 
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence--Public Policy Office. This organization provides information and training on domestic violence.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges--Family Violence Department. They publish the Family Violence Legislative Update and the Synergy newsletter and provide a domestic-violence-law database and a family-violence resource center.
Office on Violence Against Women. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs This federal agency provides information, resources, and grants about the federal Violence Against Women (VAW) laws and regulations.
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence/National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Information and resources, policy development, and technical assistance to enhance community response to and prevention of domestic violence. 
The ABA Commission on Domestic Violence. Has publications, resources, statistics, bibliographies.  See also their model code on domestic and family violence.
The Center for Court Innovation. This organization conducts research and provides information and technical assistance on domestic-violence courts.
Women`s Law Initiative. This very comprehensive Web site provides state-by-state legal information and resources about family violence. 

Protection Orders

Judiciary Releases Video on Domestic Violence Program . (2013). The New Jersey Judiciary has released a new video about a program that allows domestic violence victims to apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO) directly from a hospital or safe house using a video link to talk to a family court judge.
Sheeran, Maureen and Emilie Meyer Civil Protection Orders: A Guide for Improving Practice. (2010). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges This guide updates the previous guide known as the Burgundy Book and is designed to provide more streamlined guidance for issuing and enforcing civil protection orders.
Logan, T.K. et al. The Kentucky Civil Protective Order Study. (September 2009). University of Kentucky A Rural and Urban Multiple Perspective Study of Protective Order Violation Consequences, Responses, & Costs.  This study addresses several gaps in the research literature on civil protective orders by examining PO effectiveness, enforcement, and cost effectiveness.
POR Public Access Pilot Begins . (July 2009). Judicial Technology and Automation Committee Blog On July 1st, Indiana began a pilot program of the Protection Order Registry Public Access application.  This application allows case workers to work with a victim of domestic violence to complete the forms to request a protection order online. These documents can then be imported into the Protection Order Registry by the County Clerk to initiate the case.
A Guide for Effective Issuance & Enforcement of Protection Orders. (2005). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges This publication provides tools for implementation and enforcement of protection orders.
Efkeman, Hillery and Kay Chopard Cohen. Crossing Borders - Regional Meetings on Implementing Full Faith and Credit: Final Report. (February 2004).

This report outlines the history, meeting design, key themes and meeting outcomes of a series of regional meetings held on implementing full faith and credit of domestic violence orders of protection.

Keilitz, Susan, Paula Hannaford and Hillery Efkeman Civil Protection Orders: The Benefits and Limitations for Victims of Domestic Violence. (1997). Research

This study examines the effectiveness of civil protection orders and looks at which factors influence how well the orders prevent abuse and improve the quality of the survivors lives.

Montgomery County, Maryland Family Justice Center (FJC). The FJC plans to use video conferencing technology to link the circuit and district courts to the center to facilitate temporary protective order hearings.  Police, prosecutors, service providers, and babysitters are available onsite.
Video Protective Orders Maricopa County. This program provides remote access to a video connection into the courtroom from the county hospital in order to obtain orders of protection while still at the hospital.

Research Evaluation

Black, M.C. et al. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey(NIPSVS): 2010 Summary Report. (2011). Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The NISVS provides information on sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence based on a random digit dial telephone survey.
Upon Further Examination. (August 2013). Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee.
Ten Years and Counting: The Persistence of Lethal Domestic Violence in Virginia. (December 2010). Virginia Department of Health This report looks at domestic violence fatality reports in Virginia between 1999 and 2007.
Klein, Andrew R. Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges. (June 2009). National Institute of Justice This report provides a review of current research in the area of domestic violence and the implications for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges.
Lyon, Eleanor , Shannon Lane and Anne Menard Meeting Survivors` Needs: A Multi-State Study of Domestic Violence Shelter Experiences. (October 2008). University of Connecticut, School of Social Work and National Resource Center on Domestic Violence This report funded by the National Institute of Justice surveyed over 3,000 shelter residents in 215 shelters across eight states between 2007 and 2008. 
Smith, Erica L., Matthew R. Durose, and Patrick A. Langan State Court Processing of Domestic Violence Cases. (February 2008). Bureau of Justice Statistics This Special Report looks at domestic violence cases filed in the state courts of 15 large urban counties during 2002.
Peterson, Richard R. Combating Domestic Violence in New York City: A Study of DV Cases in the Criminal Courts. (April 2003). New York City Criminal Justice Agency This report compares case outcomes in domestic violence and non-domestic-violence cases, the impact of screening and sanctioning policies on domestic-violence case outcomes, the impact of case processing on rearrest among domestic-violence offenders, and policy implications.
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Data Resource Center . Bureau of Justice Statistics This resource center provides information on how data are collected and used in the states and includes a national summary, state summaries, state profiles, statutes, projects, bibliographies and contacts.

Stalking

Baum, Katrina, Shannon Catlano, Michael Rand, and Kristina Rose Stalking Victimization in the United States. (January 2009). Bureau of Justice Statistics This BJS special report provides data from the Supplemental Victimization Survey of stalking behaviors done in 2006.
Klein, Andrew et al. A Statewide Study of Stalking and Its Criminal Justice Response . (May 2009). U.S. Department of Justice This report provides an analysis of a statewide study of police and researcher identified stalking cases in Rhode Island between 2001 and 2005.  Executive Summary.
The Model Stalking Code Revisited--Responding to the New Realities of Stalking. (January 2007). National Center for Victims of Crime This report provides the rationale for revisiting the 1993 model anti-stalking code, describes constitutional challenges, and outlines a new model stalking code for the United States.

Violence Against Women Act

Uekert, Brenda. Use of Violence Against Women Act STOP Funds for Courts. (February 2009).

This report includes the results of a survey sent to state court administrators on how STOP funds were being allocated and used by the courts.

Uekert, Brenda. Violence Against Women Act Grant Program Funds for Courts - Results of a Survey to State Court Administrators. (July 2003).

A survey of state court administrators on VAWA court-specific funding.

Violence Against Women Act Grant Program. U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. This Web site provides links to legislation, statutes, law, etc., related to the Violence Against Women Act.