The Dropout Problem: Part 2

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Indiana Court Times on 01/25/2016 by Ruth Reichard

What is behind it and what judges can do about it

In Part 1 of this article in the September/October issue of Court Times, we considered research on the high victim attrition rate in criminal domestic violence cases, as well as some laws that judges can use to help ensure the integrity of the proceedings. In Part 2, we consider the civil court analogue to this predicament: petitioners who file and then dismiss protection order cases (since most petitioners are female and most respondents are male, this article will use those genders accordingly).
First, it is helpful to know what makes a woman decide to leave her violent partner.  Across the literature, the most common factors are a low level of commitment to the relationship and a high degree of economic self-sufficiency; but, leaving is a complicated decision for victims, and studies have identified different factors.