Determined whether it was proper for a court to hold the victim of domestic violence in contempt of a court order issued to protect her when she reunited with her abuser.
Legal Momentum's Immigrant Women Program joined the National Network to End Domestic Violence in an amicus brief in a Kentucky state court action. The brief supported a motion for rehearing in the appeal of a battered woman who had been held in contempt of court for violation of a civil protection order issued to protect her. The battered woman had reunited with her abuser after the issuance of a temporary protection order and had returned to court with him to seek a full protection order that allowed for full contact between them, but prohibited the abuser from continuing his violence and harassment against her. These types of orders are used extensively in cases of immigrant battered women who want court intervention to curb violence but who will continue living with their abusers. Our amicus brief urged the court to ensure that protection orders are enforced only against abusers and to disallow the use of contempt against abuse victims based on court orders issued for the victims' protection. Unfortunately, however, the Kentucky Court of Appeals denied review.