Other key provisions in legislation on post-hearing protection orders

Legislation on post-hearing protection orders should:

  • Not allow officials to remove the applicant from her home against her will.
  • Not allow for mutual protection orders. A mutual protection order implies that both parties are responsible for the violence and it makes both parties liable for violations of the order. Advocates have found that when police were faced with a mutual order they often did not determine who was the primary aggressor and consequently either failed to enforce the order or arrested both parties. When a mutual protection order was enforced against a complainant/survivor, the consequences were dire: the complainant/survivor might lose child custody or her employment, or be evicted by her landlord.

The Toolkit to End Violence Against Women, Ch. 3; Determining the predominant aggressor; StopVAW; UN Handbook; and Family Violence: A Model State Code, Sec 310.

  • Not allow officials to cite complainants/survivors for “provocative behavior.” (See: UN Handbook
  • Orders for protection should be effective and enforceable throughout a country.

Example: The Law of Philippines, Section 12, mandates that protection orders are enforceable throughout the nation.

  • Legislation should not mandate rehabilitation of complainants/survivors. Rather, legislation should provide for counseling services for a complainant/survivor if she determines she needs them. Many domestic violence complainants/survivors do not need psychiatric counseling or rehabilitative services, with the exception of employment services.  Rehabilitation services should be made available to victims but should never be compulsory or a condition of receiving other assistance or services.        

  • Legislation should permit complainants/survivors to seek a protection order without the aid of an attorney.