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    On 1 January 2009, the Dutch Temporary Restraining Order Act (Wth) entered into force. This act allows mayors to impose a ten-day restraining order (which may be extended to 28 days) on (potential) perpetrators of domestic violence, which prohibits these perpetrators from entering their own house and contacting their partner and/or children. During the restraining order everyone involved (evicted persons, those who stay behind and children) is offered a range of support and intervention measures. The law requires that within five years after its entry into force the Dutch parliament is informed of the effectiveness. To this end, a study was conducted between September 2011 and August 2013. The aim of this impact assessment is to gain insight in the effectiveness of the restraining order and the support services that are connected to it. The study was designed as a quasi-experimental study with an intervention group (restraining orders) and a control group (similar situations in which no restraining order was imposed). The study shows that the restraining order is associated with less incidence of new domestic violence. After imposing a restraining order new domestic violence occurs less frequently, and in case it does occur, fewer incidents occur than in (comparable) situations where no restraining order was imposed. The main explanation for the correlation found between the restraining order and the lower incidence of new domestic violence seems to lie in the support that is offered after the imposition of a restraining order. Moreover, the support seems to be more effective in the more serious cases than in the lighter cases. The degree in which antecedents of the evicted person are present and whether or not the evicted person is criminally prosecuted are not related to a lower degree of repeated domestic violence.


Maartje Timmermans
Maartje Timmermans is onderzoeker bij Regioplan.

Katrien de Vaan
Katrien de Vaan is onderzoeker bij Regioplan.
Artikel

De preventieve inzet van het tijdelijk huisverbod bij dreigend huiselijk geweld

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 1 2012
Trefwoorden domestic violence, temporary restraining order, domestic violence risk, prevention, assessment
Auteurs Leontien M. van der Knaap
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    On January 1, 2009 the Temporary Restraining Order Act entered into force allowing mayors to impose a ten-day restraining order on potential perpetrators of domestic violence. This restraining order, which may be extended to 28 days, prohibits the perpetrator from entering his or her house as well as from contacting the persons staying behind in the home (partner, children, or other members of the household). In order to impose a temporary restraining order, risk factors relating to the perpetrator, the incident, and the family have to be assessed using a domestic violence risk assessment tool (RiHG).The immediate cause to introduce the Act was to enable mayors to take action in situations that, before, would not have given police just cause to intervene because no offences had (yet) been committed. However, evaluations show that temporary restraining orders are mainly imposed in conjunction with criminal proceedings. Yet, researchers suggest that the temporary restraining order may be imposed as a truly preventive measure in a large amount of situations that until now have not been considered (for instance, situations that have not escalated into physical violence). This article examines whether such preventive restraining orders exist within a sample of imposed orders and if so, what characteristics they share.Results show that truly preventive restraining orders are extremely rare. Closer inspection of cases that according to the available risk assessment were not notably violent showed that most of these cases could not be regarded as cases of truly preventive restraining orders. The discussion of the article focuses on the implications of these results for the suggestion that a large number of situations could be suitable for imposing a preventive restraining order.


Leontien M. van der Knaap
Dr. L.M. (Leontien) M. van der Knaap is universitair hoofddocent bij het International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT) van Tilburg University. E-mail: l.mvdrknaap@uvt.nl
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