What is a Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A Domestic Violence Restraining Order is a court order that helps protect people from abuse from someone they have a close relationship with. The judge can order the restrained person to not contact or go near you, your children, your relatives, or others who live with you. You may also be able to obtain child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support orders in a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. However, it is not a divorce and cannot end your marriage or domestic partnership.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together). It is also when the abused person and the abusive person are closely related by blood or by marriage.

What is abuse?

The domestic violence laws say “abuse” is:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, intentionally or recklessly
  • Sexual Assault
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they or someone else are about to be seriously hurt (like threats or promises to harm someone)
  • Behavior like harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting someone; disturbing someone’s peace; or destroying someone’s personal property

Physical abuse is not just hitting

Abuse can be kicking, shoving, pushing, pulling hair, throwing things, scaring or following you, or keeping you from freely coming and going. It can even include physical abuse of the family pets.

Here’s more information about Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.