Domestic Violence Courts: Pretrial and Courthouse Safety

Domestic violence courts consider the physical safety of victims in court to be a major concern but have limited resources to pursue courthouse safety measures, such as separate waiting areas and seating for victims and offenders, escorts in the courthouse, and childcare services. [1]

Domestic violence victims are often still at risk while waiting for the case to go to trial. Offenders may violate protection orders, intimidate victims or even commit further violence toward them. Courts can improve pretrial safety by: [2]

  • Engaging judges more actively before trial.
  • Assigning specific sites or days to focus exclusively on domestic violence cases.
  • Offering a wider range of victim services.
  • Monitoring offenders before trial and imposing penalties for violations.

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[note 1], [note 2] Labriola, M., S. Bradley, C.S., O‚ÄôSullivan, M. Rempel, S. Moore, A National Portrait of Domestic Violence Courts (pdf, 161 pages), Final report to the National Institute of Justice, grant number 2006-WG-BX-0001, NCJ 229659.

Date Created: June 30, 2011