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Through the Lens of Therapeutic Jurisprudence: The Relationship Between Empowerment in the Court System and Well-Being for Intimate Partner Violence Victims

Cattaneo, L. B.,
Goodman, L. A.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2010
SAGE Publications
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25(3); 481-502: March 2010
SAGE Publications

Research has established the connection between intimate partner violence (IPV) victims' empowering experiences in the court system and their satisfaction with the process, say these authors, but not between these experiences and victims' broader wellbeing, a link suggested by the framework of therapeutic jurisprudence. In this study, they investigated the relationship between empowerment and victim depression, quality of life, fear, and intention to use the system in the future among 142 court-involved, women who were IVP victims. At 3 and 6 months after recruitment, more empowering experiences in the court predicted improvement in depression and quality of life as well as stronger intention to use the system in the future if needed, over and above the effects of repeat abuse, the case disposition, and expectations about the court system. The authors discuss the need for research on what aspects of victim experience in the court are empowering and evaluations of innovations that can increase the likelihood they will occur. Modified Author Abstract

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