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Access_open Ruled by Fear or Safety-Related Empowerment

The Experience and Meaning of Penal Protection Orders in Intimate Partner Violence in the Netherlands

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2021
Keywords intimate partner violence, stalking, protection orders, empowerment, safety, well-being
Authors Irma W.M. Cleven
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study uses a novel approach to understand the experience and meaning of unsafety and the contribution of penal protection orders to victim empowerment in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV). In ten in-depth interviews, IPV survivors reflect on their relationship with their ex-partner and the previous years in which the order against their ex-partner was issued, including its role within the wider process of coming to terms with IPV victimisation and moving on. Depending on expectations of protection orders (POs) enforcement and deterrence, POs enhance one’s safety-related self-efficacy and result in a sense of empowerment. Its meaning can be understood in terms of one’s power from the ex-partner, power to act, status vis-à-vis the offender and the wider community, care/help of the CJS, and unity/togetherness with the wider community. Several implications for theoretical and empirical research and practice are discussed.


Irma W.M. Cleven
Irma W.M. Cleven, MSc, is PhD Candidate at the Department of Criminology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
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