A Descriptive Study of a Protocol


  • Holly A. Magaña,

    1. Holly A. Magaña received her Ph.D. in human development from the Program in Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine. She has been a mediator in Orange County for the past 5 years and is also a Lecturer at the University of California, Irvine. For the past 4 years she has been involved in developing new policies and procedures for handling domestic violence cases in mediation in Orange County.
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  • Nancy Taylor

    1. Nancy Taylor holds a master's degree in biochemistry and is a licensed clinical social worker with a degree from the University of Southern California School of Social Work. She is a mediator with Orange County Mediation and Investigative Services.
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  • Author's Note: The authors wish to thank Olivia de la Rocha for assistance with the data analysis and Anne Rose-Schooler and Joyce Goldman for assistance with the data collection. The authors also wish to thank Jan Shaw, Director, and Leroy Eaton and Marina Nichols, Supervisors, of Orange County Mediation and Investigative Services for their support of this project.


This article discusses domestic violence, providing information and a review of literature regarding this phenomena. The article then goes on to describe a protocol developed by the Orange County (California) mediation and investigative unit that provides protection to the alleged victim of violence through the use of assessment interviews, co-mediation with a male-female mediation team, and the development of postparenting arrangements that provide for protection and security. The article also reviews a sample of 100 domestic violence cases handled in Orange County during 1991. Data from this research suggest that mediators using the protocols described in this article are able to guide the more serious, high-risk cases into more protective outcomes and that mediation can provide a very important adjunct to the trial court process.