Dr. Mary Kernic, a research associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, was awarded a four-year, $1 million grant from the National Institute of Justice to study national trends in how courts have issued civil domestic violence protective orders over the last 20 years and the potential impact on repeated intimate partner violence and related health outcomes.
“Intimate partner violence is a tremendously important public health issue with wide-ranging and broad physical and mental health consequences experienced by victims and child witnesses,” Dr. Kernic said. “There is a long and growing list of adverse health effects on victims, such as physical injuries, chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, gastrointestinal disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide and substance abuse. The effects on children include internalizing and externalizing problems, academic difficulties, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and high concurrent risk of child abuse, among many others.”
Dr. Kernic will use this grant to examine whether courts have trended toward increased reissuances of multiple temporary orders, and a lower likelihood of issuing full orders in cases filed between 1997 and 2016 in King County, Washington. Second, she and her team will look at whether approaches by the courts to delay or deny full order protection are associated with increased risk of additional harm from the partner, visiting the emergency department, being hospitalized and death.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 12