The Use of Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) as a Strategy to Address Intimate Partner Violence

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Abstract

One of the most prominent interventions developed to protect victims in domestic abuse cases is the temporary restraining order or “TRO,” the purpose of which is to restrain an alleged defendant from further harassment or abuse against a plaintiff. This report analyzes 397 restraining order petitions, and subsequent arrest and conviction data for TRO defendants from 1996 to 1998. Findings confirm that TRO petitioners report many types of abuse and while half of TRO defendants do not re-offend, a small percent of defendants are responsible for multiple police reports, arrests, and criminal violations. Outcome data are discussed for program and policy implications.

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