No Longer Needed: Victims’ Dismissal of Civil Protection Orders

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title

American Society of Criminology


Atlanta, GA

Conference Dates

November 14-17, 2018

Date of Presentation



Civil protection orders, which have become a common response to domestic violence, seek to limit contact between victims and their abusers. While some jurisdictions have no-drop policies which bar victims from dismissing charges, others allow victim dismissals citing greater victim autonomy as well as better use of prosecutorial resources. Using 355 case files from St. Louis County Court, which does allow victims to dismiss charges, I determine which victims are likely to dismiss protection order charges, and how their cases vary from non-dismissed cases. Additionally, I examine when victims are likely to dismiss a protection order as well as some of the reasons victims give for their dismissal.

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