Domestic Violence inside the Courtroom: The Role of the Judge in Protection from Abuse Order Hearings




Hvizdos, Aimee

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis describes the nationwide epidemic of domestic violence in the United States. The role that a judge takes in Protection from Abuse hearings and how the judge’s demeanor and authority play a vital role in the courtroom is examined as a contributing factor to the social issue of domestic violence. Research was conducted to explore the dynamic between the judge and the victim by using Federal and state legislation, as well as courtroom observations and extensive literature. In the process of researching and writing this thesis, the author conducted courtroom observations to analyze the behavior of two judges in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This thesis is designed for the use of academics and domestic violence agencies to continue research on the development of legislation, regulations, and judge training programs.



Domestic violence, Judge, Pennsylvania, California, Women's rights, Protection from abuse