Advocates for domestic violence victims are sounding the warning about a little-noticed U.S. Supreme Court case that they say could make it much harder for battered women and men to enforce restraining orders against their abusers.

The case Robertson v. U.S. ex rel. Watson, set for argument on Wednesday, challenges the way restraining orders are enforced in the District of Columbia. D.C. law allows victims themselves to bring criminal contempt charges when abusers infringe on a court order. At least 14 states have similar setups, according to an amicus brief filed by George Washington University Law School’s Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project.

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