Domestic violence protective orders are associated with reductions in intimate partner homicides, and therefore serve as a critical tool for protecting victims and survivors, according to a federal policy review led by researchers at the University of Michigan.

Researchers from U-M and Johns Hopkins University recently reviewed firearm-related policies—specifically, domestic violence protective orders, or DVPOs—to determine historical context and constitutionality of the laws, as well as the role research plays in their development and implementation. Their findings were published earlier this month in the Fordham Urban Law Journal.

“Intimate partner violence that involves a firearm has a significantly higher likelihood of ending in homicide, compared to intimate partner violence that involves other weapons,” said April Zeoli, associate professor of health management and policy at U-M’s School of Public Health and policy core director at U-M’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention.

“Current data also suggests that prior domestic violence can foreshadow mass shooting events. The research is consistent in showing that these laws save lives.”

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