Home      Login

Challenges of “Paper Abuse” Continue in Legal Proceedings  

Author:  Susan L. Miller.; M. Kristen Hefner.; Ruth E. Fleury-Steiner.

Source: Volume 28, Number 03, February/March 2023 , pp.39-44(6)

Domestic Violence Report

< previous article |next article > |return to table of contents


A decade ago, researchers exposed the experience of “paper abuse” as a tactic of intimate partner abuse, and further research and survivor strategies have since emerged. This article expands on this research by explaining the concept and providing a brief review of recent studies that illustrate how paper abuse has played out in the civil justice system. Abuse does not always stop after a relationship ends. Research reveals that victims of intimate partner violence are at higher risk of serious injury or death following the termination of an abusive relationship, and may also experience other forms of abuse, such as stalking and coercive control. In the literature, this control is referred to as paper abuse, litigation abuse, legal systems abuse, procedural stalking, custody stalking, court abuse, and post-separation abuse to account for the myriad contexts and situations in which it occurs. In this article, the authors refer to this type of abuse as paper abuse.

Keywords: Paper Abuse; Litigation Abuse; Legal Systems Abuse; Procedural Stalking; Custody Stalking; Court Abuse; Post-Separation Abuse

Affiliations:  1: University of Delaware; 2: The Citadel; 3: University of Delaware.

Subscribers click here to open full text in PDF.
Non-subscribers click here to purchase this article. $27

< previous article |next article > |return to table of contents