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The choice between silence and ending violence : an analysis of protection order seeking for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault

by Shephard, Bridgett Nichole


This thesis suggests that certain characteristics make victims of domestic violence and sexual assault more or less likely to seek a Temporary Protection Order (TPO). In Colorado Springs, CO, the annual number of sexual assaults is exceptionally high and domestic violence incidents are frequent. Using data from TESSA, the only agency that is serving victims in Colorado Springs and El Paso County, CO, this thesis examines self-reported victim characteristics in conjunction with TPO seeking behaviors. After analyzing the data with a probit regression, the results have shown that domestic violence and sexual assault are very different crimes, and that domestic violence victims and sexual assault victims display some important differences when it comes to reporting the crimes and seeking TPO’s. Victims of domestic violence are more likely to seek a protection order against an offender who was an acquaintance, but victims of sexual assault are less likely to seek a protection order against an acquaintance. At the same time, all victims demonstrated some similarities in TPO reporting. TESSA clients that lived in rural locations, that had lower annual familial incomes, and that were associated with the military were less likely, to varying degrees, to seek a TPO. The results of this thesis, if combined with community awareness, engagement and cooperation, have the potential to reduce the occurrence of domestic violence and sexual assault in Colorado Springs.



Bachelor of Arts

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes


Copyright restrictions apply.
Colorado College
Digital Origin
born digital
111 pages : illustrations
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Johnson, Daniel
Department of Economics and Business
Degree Name
Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued