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Civil Legal Protection for Victims of Sexual Violence  

Author:  Jennika Kirkbride, J.D..

Source: Volume 03, Number 01, Summer 2010 , pp.65-73(9)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Women in abusive relationships can seek protection from the courts via protection or restraining orders. However, for women who have experienced sexual violence, these orders are often not adequate. For example, if a woman does not know her assailant, she would not be safe with an order to protect a woman from domestic violence. Anti-stalking orders only cover a woman experiencing ongoing stalking, rather than a one-time assault. A criminal protection order only works if women report and agree to prosecute their assailants. This article describes a program in the state of Washington designed to overcome these diffi culties and offer safety to victims of sexual assault.


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