Despite decades of interventions, research suggests intimate partner violence prevalence rates are increasing and results in increased healthcare costs for up to three years even after the violence has ceased. This study examines the intimate partner violence protection order process and whether legal mechanisms can be enhanced to improve victims’ health outcomes.

The study examines whether safety outcomes can be enhanced through violence reduction by improving and routinizing a well-known legal process codified in all 50 states – protection order dissemination. The specific aim is to evaluate whether the use of an evidence-based intimate partner violence risk assessments by court personnel will result in the issuance of more protection orders, which are more informed, and ultimately reduce imminent injury risk factors (i.e. violence (physical, emotional, sexual), guns, suicide, and substance abuse). The study seeks to test missed opportunities within the protective order process to more accurately evaluate the petitioner’s risk of violence and incorporate appropriate steps in the protective order to prevent additional violence. Given the level of discretion available to the courts in drafting the protective order, the study can help guide effective steps to an improved experience and health outcome for the victim.