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No longer a civil matter? The design and use of protection orders for domestic violence in England and Wales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Social Welfare and Family Law
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Aug 2019


This paper assesses the design and use of protection orders for domestic violence in England and Wales. It draws on data from 400 police domestic violence incidents and 65 interviews with victims/survivors, as well as new analysis of government justice data from England and Wales, to address a gap in literature on protection orders.

The paper identifies an increasing civil-criminal ‘hybridisation’ of protection orders in England and Wales, and argues that a dual regime has developed, with orders issued by police and/or in criminal proceedings increasingly privileged (and enforced) over victim-led civil orders. Whilst protection orders are being used – as intended – flexibly to protect domestic violence victims, the way they are applied in practice risks downgrading domestic violence in criminal justice terms.

The conclusions are especially timely in light of current Government proposals to rationalise protection orders by introducing a single overarching Domestic Abuse Protection Order in England and Wales.

    Research areas

  • protection orders, non molestation orders, restraining orders, domestic violence protection orders, civil justice, injunction, Domestic Abuse Bill, Domestic Abuse Protection Order



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