67 Vand. L. Rev. 1015 (2014)
Enjoining Abuse: The Case for Indefinite Domestic Violence Protection Orders

handle is hein.journals/vanlr67 and id is 1049 raw text is: Enjoining Abuse: The Case for
Indefinite Domestic Violence
Protection Orders
Jane K. Stoever*
While countless studies demonstrate the complex and dangerous
nature of intimate partner abuse, most jurisdictions permit only the entry of
yearlong domestic violence protection orders. Judges may assume that danger
ceases once the order takes effect, but evidence of the recurrent nature of
violence demonstrates the importance of providing judicial protection over
time. The brevity of domestic violence protection orders stands in stark
contrast to the long duration of orders in other areas of the law, such as
intellectual property, corporations, real property, and tax, where courts
routinely enter permanent injunctions to protect individuals and businesses
against irreparable harm. What explains this differential treatment? Why
would the law deny courts the ability to protect those who experience physical
and psychological harm at the hands of an intimate partner?
This Article is the first scholarship to identify and attempt to explain
the dichotomy between injunctive relief for domestic violence and other areas
of the law and to explore the potential for indefinite domestic violence
injunctions in normative depth. To establish the generally temporary nature of
domestic violence protection orders, the Article reports the results of a fifty-
state survey on protection order lengths and extension standards, a survey
undertaken for this piece. To explain the differential treatment of domestic
violence injunctions, the Article situates its analysis in the historic backdrop of
the state condoning domestic violence through the husband's right of
chastisement and the family privacy theory, ideologies now considered
*   Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director, Domestic Violence Clinic, University
of California, Irvine School of Law. LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center; J.D., Harvard
Law School; B.A., University of Kansas. I am grateful to Jonathan Glater, Leigh Goodmark,
Richard Hasen, Laurie S. Kohn, Annie Lai, Stephen Lee, Elizabeth MacDowell, David Min,
Douglas NeJaime, Ann Shalleck, Wendy Seiden, Jane P. Stoever, and David Ziff for their
valuable comments. I wish to thank Michael Callahan, Karen Gray, Dominique Scalia, and
Caitlin Vaughn for their research assistance.


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