A new Court Watch report released today documents innovative practices that judges, bailiffs, interpreters and clerks are using in protective order cases at District Court. Each of the practices listed can improve survivor safety. We hope additional court personnel will consider incorporating these important approaches into their daily work.
Judges help keep victims safe when they:
- Talk to petitioners about safety – One judge said “You should call 911 immediately if you are in any danger. You might talk to an advocate about a safety plan – they can help with things such as changing your locks or providing shelter.”
- Assess danger when deciding the terms of visitation – Judges asked petitioners “Where were the children when this incident occurred?” “Has the respondent ever threatened to kidnap the children?” “How have the children reacted to the trouble at home?”
- Set visitation so that there is no physical contact between parents – One judge required visits to occur at the Armand Center, where trained monitors help safely exchange children or supervise visits.Open our report, Small actions, big impacts, for more best practices.