The overall goal of this project was to inform public policies and justice system practices to enhance the effectiveness of protective orders with the ultimate goals of increasing the safety of women threatened by partner violence and increasing offender accountability.
Part 1 (Key Informant - Substudy 1)
For this study, an urban and an Appalachian rural area were compared using several different data sources including: (a) census data; (b) official civil and criminal justice data; (c) news reports and other literature on rural areas; and (d) information from a survey of 188 criminal justice and victim service representative key informants from the selected rural and urban areas.
Data were obtained from the 2000 census and were updated with estimates for 2007 when possible. Other data including information from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Kentucky State Police, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and news reports were used to describe the particular rural and urban areas selected for this study.
Key Informant Interviews
Interviews with 207 key informants were completed between June 2007 and April 2008. The sample was generated using several different strategies including: (1) advisory group committee suggestions of whom to contact; (2) listing and contacting key agencies in each community (e.g., prosecutors offices, sheriff offices, local law enforcement, shelters); and (3) asking each survey participant to provide names of other individuals in their community he or she believed should be included in the survey.
Interview Procedures and Effort
The vast majority (91 percent) of the key informant interviews were completed by telephone. A very small percentage of interviews were completed by fax (1 percent) and 8 percent were completed through face-to-face interviews.
Interviews took approximately 65 minutes on average to complete.
Because of the methodology of asking people to refer others who should be interviewed, a few of the key informants who completed the survey (9 percent) did not fit into the broad categories of criminal justice system
representatives or victim service representatives or they were not specifically from the target counties. This left a final sample of 188.
Part 2 (Interview data - Substudies 2 and 3)
Recruitment and Sample
Overall, 227 women were recruited out of court from five jurisdictions when they obtained a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) against a male intimate partner (PO partner) and one participant was referred to the study from a service agency. Participants were recruited and interviewed between June 2006 and August 2007. Although 228 women were interviewed, 15 interviews were not used in the final sample.
After consenting, participants began the baseline interview. The interview was separated into the following sections:
- Locator information
- Basic demographic, socioeconomic status, children, and community context information. Also, Life History Calendars (LHC), which anchored each month with important events from the participant's life, were completed for each of the 6 months before obtaining the protective order (PO) and for each month between the baseline and follow-ups (approximately 6 months) to facilitate recall of abuse-related events, their timing, and their duration
- Information about the relationship and victimization history with the PO partner, consequences of violence, and fear of future harm from the PO partner
- Information about the Emergency Protective Order (EPO) and DVO process, barriers, incidents, and violations
- Month-by-month information for victimization, consequences, service use, and losses related to the abuse from the PO partner for six months preceding receipt of the DVO
Follow-Up Interview Process
The 3 month and 6 month follow-up interviews were done either on the telephone or face-to-face depending on participant preference. Participants were reminded of their rights as a research participant before beginning each follow-up. The follow-up interviews had three main sections:
- The locator information was reviewed (only at the 3 month interview) and participants were reminded of their Life History Calendar for events they had mentioned at baseline and were asked to fill in other important events to facilitate recall of abuse-related information.
- Month-by-month information about partner violence victimization, consequences, service use, and losses related to the partner abuse was gathered for the three months after receipt of the DVO, and for the three months after the first follow-up
- Fear of future harm from the PO partner was assessed at the 6 month interview
The next step was to estimate direct and indirect costs associated with POs. Direct costs are those that require actual payments by individuals or institutions. Indirect costs include resources and opportunities that were lost to victims as a result of abuse and violence.
Health and mental service costs were estimated using fee-for-service Medicaid data for females 18 years old and older, as well as data from the Kentucky Department of Public Health, the Kentucky Department of Mental Health, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Victim service costs, legal fees, and police and justice system costs were estimated using data from personal communication with shelter directors and the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Costs for employment and lost earnings, family and civic responsibilities, transportation and lost property, and quality of life were estimated with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Kentucky Department of Mental Health.
Part 1 (Key Informant - Substudy 1) - The sample was generated using several different strategies including: (1) advisory group committee suggestions of whom to contact; (2) listing and contacting key agencies in each community (e.g., prosecutors offices, sheriff offices, local law enforcement, shelters); and (3) asking each survey participant to provide names of other individuals in their community he or she believed should be included in the survey. Interviews with 188 key informants were completed.
Part 2 (Interview data - Substudies 2 and 3) - In total, 546 women were approached in court from one urban and four rural jurisdictions who were eligible for the study. The majority of women approached in court gave their contact information. Three women who completed the study did not give contact information but took a study informational brochure and later called to participate. Of the 466 women who gave contact information, 126 were not actively recruited because of study scheduling. There was not enough time to actively recruit all of the potential participants because either the study ended or the potential participant could not be scheduled within 6 weeks of obtaining the DVO, leaving a sample of 340. Although 228 women were interviewed, 15 interviews were not used in the final sample.
Overall, 227 women were recruited out of court from five jurisdictions when they obtained a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) against a male intimate partner, and one participant was referred to the study from a service agency. Participants had to complete the baseline within six weeks of obtaining a new DVO. The average length of time between issuance of the DVO and entry into the study was 19 days.
Part 1 (Key Informant - Substudy 1) - Community professionals involved in the protective order process in the state of Kentucky.
Part 2 (Interview data - Substudies 2 and 3) - To be eligible for the study, participants had to be: (1) female, (2) 18 years and older, (3) planning to stay in, or close to, the recruitment jurisdiction for the next 6 months, and (4) without a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) against that same male intimate partner for at least 6 months prior to the new DVO.
Part 1 (Key Informant - Substudy 1) - Agency and individual
Part 2 (Interview data - Substudies 2 and 3) - Individual
Kentucky State Police
Kentucky Department of Mental Health
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Appalachian Regional Commission
Fee-for-service Medicaid data for females 18 years old and older
Kentucky Department of Public Health
Kentucky Department of Corrections
2007 Census Estimates
Internal Revenue Service
administrative records data,
Part 1 (Key Informant - Substudy 1)
Respondents were asked a series of background questions including their opinions regarding crime in their community. There were also questions about protective orders (PO) in the community including reasons for and barriers to obtaining a PO, as well as the respondent's awareness of Kentucky's Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) service. Respondents were also asked questions related to police involvement in the PO process, PO violations, and prosecutions of violations. Finally, there were questions related to domestic violence and stalking.
Part 2 (Interview data - Substudies 2 and 3)
The variables related to Substudy 2 are separated into the following sections:
- demographic and socioeconomic measures
- relationship characteristics
- partner abuse and violence
- fear of future harm
- EPO incident
- EPO-DVO process
- DVO types of orders
- perpetrator characteristics
- protective order violations and effectiveness
- protective order enforcement
- perpetrator history of criminal justice involvement
The variables for Substudy 3 relate to quantifying the costs of partner violence before and after a protective order was obtained. Specifically, this substudy examined:
- direct and indirect victim costs incurred as a result of the abuse 6 months before and 6 months after the protective order was obtained in addition to criminal justice costs
- differences in costs before and after the protective order was issued
- avoided costs relative to protective order intervention costs
- estimates of the statewide impact of avoided costs relative to the costs of a protective order
Women were prompted to report service utilization for doctor, dental, and emergency room visits, urgent treatment care, hospital use, ambulance, and physical therapy visits for each of 6 months before the DVO was obtained
and for each of the 6 months after the DVO was obtained. Mental health services were also assessed by asking about specific use of mental health counseling, psychiatry, marriage counseling, pastoral counseling, group therapy
for mental health or substance abuse, and residential substance abuse treatment.
Victim services utilization included information about the use of a victim advocate, crisis line, in-person crisis counselor, and nights stayed in a domestic violence shelter or homeless shelter. Use of legal services, including
private attorneys and legal aid attorneys, was assessed.
The number of times that women reported talking to the police and the number of nights victims reported that the perpetrator was in jail before and after the DVO was used along with information from court records. Charges and
convictions were extracted from official court records for the study time period.
Women were also asked a series of questions about time missed from work and other family and civic responsibilities including household chores, childcare, other family care, school, and volunteer activities due to the abuse.
Transportation costs directly related to court, prosecution, or other justice system activities were assessed. Also, the value of lost or damaged property for each month was reported.
Women were asked to detail the number of days that they experienced serious stress, depression or anxiety due to the abuse. They were asked to do this for each of
the 6 months before and the 6 months after the issuance of the protective order.
Part 1 (Key Informant - Substudy 1) - Overall there was an 82.8 percent response rate.
Part 2 (Interview data - Substudies 2 and 3) - Overall, of those who were actively recruited there was a 66.8 percent participation rate, a 97.2 percent follow-up rate was obtained for the 3 month follow-up and a 98.6 percent follow-up rate was obtained for the 6 month follow-up.