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Abstract

This Note examines the effectiveness and enforceability of civil restraining orders in domestic violence cases in the wake of Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzalez, which held that there is no constitutional right to the enforcement of a restraining order. This Note analyzes the impact of Gonzales and the effectiveness of various restraining order statutory schemes more broadly. This Note subsequently addresses that as a result of experiencing continued contact from their attackers, victim mothers are more likely to have their children removed by the state in child welfare proceedings, due to the established presumption in most family courts that domestic violence victims are unfit parents. Ultimately, this Note advocates against a presumption of parental unfitness for domestic violence victims in child welfare proceedings and in favor of a more mandatory enforcement scheme for restraining orders in order to best protect the constitutional rights of victim mothers and their children.

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