Domestic violence is abuse that is punishable in both the criminal and civil courts. Abuse is an act of violence perpetrated by an abuser on a victim. For the victim to be awarded a restraining order, they must share a close relationship with the abuser. Domestic violence can happen to men as well as women.
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders & Civil Harassment Orders
A domestic violence restraining order is a court order that restrains one person from abusing another person with whom they share a close relationship. Abuse includes physical violence, sexual attacks, molestation, verbal attacks, emotional distress and economic restraints . Civil harassment are requests made by those who are not sharing a close relationship.
Acts of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior involving abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting. A domestic setting is found when you and another person share a close relationship such as a marriage or cohabitation. Should you be harassed by someone whom you do not share a domestic setting, then you can file a civil harassment restraining order.
Domestic Violence Abuse
Abuse is found when a perpetrator commits one of the following acts:
- Intentionally or recklessly causes or attempts to cause bodily injury or sexual assault;
- Intentionally or recklessly causes or attempts to cause a sexual assault;
- Places a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another; or,
- Threatens, strikes, harasses, destroys personal property, or disturbs the peace of another.
Protect Yourself from Domestic Violence
The State of California has enacted laws addressing Domestic Violence to protect families and those who are in a close relationship with others from abuse and acts of violence.
A restraining order protects a victim from physical or sexual abuse, threats, stalking, and harassment. The person requesting a restraining order is called the “protected person.” The person the restraining order is against, the alleged abuser, is the “restrained person.” These orders can include requests to protect others, protect pets, and to have the abuser move-out of the residence.
You may request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order to protect you from abuse committed by your spouse, former spouse, the person you are or have dated, a close relative, or a person who regularly lives in your home.
Civil Harassment Restraining Order
If you do not qualify for a domestic violence restraining order, you can file for a civil harassment restraining order. This is often used by clients seeking to protect themselves from neighbors, roommates, coworkers, or more distant family members.
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