Domestic Violence Resource Guide

Our experts recommend

  • Effective Adjudication of Domestic Abuse Cases (AJA program). 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

  • Firearms and Domestic Violence. This course provides an overview of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, the Brady Act, the NICS Process, Violence Against Women Act and the Lautenberg Amendment. Using the background information our faculty will provide you with the three criteria (misdemeanor conviction, convicting statute/force element and qualified relationship) necessary to disqualify an individual from the purchase or possession of a firearm under the Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence Provision.
  • DV Education for Judges. The American Judges Association offers a free online domestic violence education program for judges.
  • 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.


Arrest Prosecution Sentencing

Batterer Intervention

Child Custody Visitation

Children and Domestic Violence

Coordinated Community Response

Domestic Violence Courts

Elder Domestic 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.
  • Protection Order Registry. The Indiana Supreme Court partnered with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and State Police to receive two federal grants to create and implement the statewide Protection Order Registry (POR) which makes judicial orders available to local, state and national law enforcement agencies within minutes, all at no cost to counties.
  • 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


Violence Against Women Act