We examined whether risks to children of intimate partner violence survivors affected the type of legal assistance accessed. We hypothesized that the level and type of perceived child risk would be associated with whether women sought a protection order in civil court or filed charges against a current or former intimate partner in criminal court. Using data from a sample of predominantly African American women (N=293), we found that some forms of child risk were positively associated with seeking a civil order of protection but negatively associated with pressing criminal charges. Implications for practice, policy, and future research are presented.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The third and fourth authors were the co-principal investigator and principal investigator, respectively, of the original study, which was supported by National Institute of Justice Grant 2001-WT-BX-0001.
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.
- African American
- criminal justice system
- domestic violence
- protective order