Barred From Her Own Home: How a Tool for Fighting Domestic Abuse Fails

Stay-away orders are a tool New York judges can use to protect victims from their abusers even before accusations get scrutinized in court. They grew out of a reform movement that urged police and prosecutors to take domestic violence more seriously. But they have become a form of summary justice, routinely issued upon the filing of a complaint without proper vetting. They have wrecked families and cost people their homes and jobs based on what turn out to be flimsy or false accusations. New York courts and legislators are considering proposals to fix the system.

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