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Publication - Professor Marianne Hester

    No longer a civil matter? The design and use of protection orders for domestic violence in England and Wales

    Citation

    Bates, L & Hester, M, 2019, ‘No longer a civil matter? The design and use of protection orders for domestic violence in England and Wales’. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.

    Abstract

    This paper assesses the design and use of protection orders for domestic violence in England and Wales. It draws on data from 400 police domestic violence incidents and 65 interviews with victims/survivors, as well as new analysis of government justice data from England and Wales, to address a gap in literature on protection orders.

    The paper identifies an increasing civil-criminal ‘hybridisation’ of protection orders in England and Wales, and argues that a dual regime has developed, with orders issued by police and/or in criminal proceedings increasingly privileged (and enforced) over victim-led civil orders. Whilst protection orders are being used – as intended – flexibly to protect domestic violence victims, the way they are applied in practice risks downgrading domestic violence in criminal justice terms.

    The conclusions are especially timely in light of current Government proposals to rationalise protection orders by introducing a single overarching Domestic Abuse Protection Order in England and Wales.

    Full details in the University publications repository