Battered women's perceptions of civil and criminal court helpfulness: The role of court outcome and process

  • Bell M
  • Perez S
  • Goodman L
 et al. 
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Abstract

Although most battered women seeking formal help have some contact with court, limited research exists on what they find helpful and harmful about these experiences. Using qualitative data from low-income, largely Black battered women, this study finds that issues related to court outcomes, such as case disposition and enforcement, are important to evaluations of helpfulness. More frequently mentioned, however, are court processes, including treatment by staff, process length, and public disclosure. Results highlight the importance of research and practice attending to issues beyond court outcomes, as well as the potential impact supportive treatment at court may have for victims' recovery.

Author-supplied keywords

  • court
  • intimate partner violence
  • legal processes

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Authors

  • Margret E. Bell

  • Sara Perez

  • Lisa A. Goodman

  • Mary Ann Dutton

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