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Criminal Justice


Dr. Melanye Smith


Domestic violence is a serious social issue that affects victims across all spectrums of life. While domestic violence crosses all geographical boundaries, researchers have found that women residing in rural areas experience increased severity and more extended periods of abuse than their urban counterparts. Existing literature focusing on rural female domestic violence victims and their subjective perceptions of civil order protection is limited and little is known about abuse victims' satisfaction with civil protection orders in keeping them safe from future incidents of violence. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the effectiveness perceptions of rural female victims of domestic violence regarding their civil protection experiences. A phenomenological analysis was used to uncover the meanings that 10 participants put on their civil protection order experience. The study was conducted using the advocacy coalition framework as the theoretical foundation. Data were inductively analyzed to identify common emergent themes among the participants. The research findings indicated that the majority of participants perceived civil protection orders as ineffective in discouraging future incidents of domestic violence. The findings also revealed that most participants viewed the protection orders as a necessary tool to combat domestic violence and expressed the need for improvements of civil protection orders. Positive social change may result through policymakers addressing issues of concerns related to effectiveness identified in the study, thereby helping reduce domestic violence-related incidents.

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