Study Shows Petitioners Pursue a Wide Array of Goals through Protection Orders, at Odds with Experts over Potential of PO’s

  • Lauren Cattaneo
  • Practitioner Commentary: Laurie S. Kohn


This study interviewed recipients of protection orders (POs) and lawyers about the aims and effectiveness of the process. In seeking a PO, petitioners view safety as the most important goal, but have superordinate goals for the way they wish to live their lives: The wish to move on with life and feel at peace resonated with nearly all participants. Petitioners use the PO process to navigate complex relationships with the respondent, and often wish to get the respondent help. Lawyers’ perceptions were fairly pessimistic, and varied from participants’ perceptions.