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Enjoining Coercion: Squaring Civil Protection Orders with the Reality of Domestic Abuse


Jeffrey R. Baker


Pepperdine University School of Law; Faulkner University Jones School of Law

Fall 2008

Journal of Law and Family Studies, Vol. 11, No. 35, 2008

Abstract:     
Every state provides civil protection for victims of domestic abuse, but these regimes typically fixate on physical violence. Domestic abuse, however, does not spring from violent tendencies. Rather, abuse arises from a perpetrator's desire to exert power and control over his victim. Abusers often deploy emotional, economic, political and social tactics to coerce responses from vulnerable partners long before they resort to violence. Violence is the extreme tool to maintain control when a victim challenges the abuser's power over her life. Civil protection systems should confront domestic abuse more comprehensively by providing relief from oppressive coercion. By empowering victims earlier in their relationships, civil protection orders might be tools of prevention and redemption, not merely emergency responses to imminent physical danger.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: domestic violence, domestic abuse, women, family law

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Date posted: March 31, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Baker, Jeffrey R., Enjoining Coercion: Squaring Civil Protection Orders with the Reality of Domestic Abuse (Fall 2008). Journal of Law and Family Studies, Vol. 11, No. 35, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1124124

Contact Information

Jeffrey R. Baker (Contact Author)
Pepperdine University School of Law ( email )
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
Faulkner University Jones School of Law ( email )
Montgomery, AL 36109
United States
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