When most people hear the phrase “domestic violence,” they picture a man who has physically struck his wife. And while that scenario certainly fits the bill for this accusation, it’s not the only example. In fact, domestic violence is an extremely broad category in California that can encompass many unhealthy, dysfunctional, and potentially dangerous aspects of relationships between two people.
Domestic Violence Is Defined by Abuse, But What Does Abuse Mean?
The biggest factor in determining whether domestic violence has occurred is establishing whether abuse has occurred between two people who either have or recently had intimate relationships or who are related by blood or marriage.
Proving abuse requires proving that a few certain actions occurred, including:
- Act of physical violence against another person that was intentional or the result of recklessness
- Physical violence can include hitting, kicking, shoving, pushing, or pulling
- Sexual assault
- Threats of violence causing someone to fear for their safety
- Harassment including stalking, destruction of personal property, stalking (both online and in person), and abusing or assaulting pets
- Acts of intimidation
- Attempts to exert power and/or control over another person
In What Relationships Can Domestic Violence Occur?
Domestic violence is a broad term that can encompass many people who live under the same roof. Although not all acts or threats of violence or harm in a home or dwelling constitute domestic violence, many do. When any of the acts described above occur between the following people, they may fall under the banner of domestic violence in the eyes of California family law:
- Couples who are married
- Couples who are dating
- People who were previously married
- People who previously dated
- People who are currently living together
- People who previously lived together
- People who have had a child together
- People who are blood-related or related by marriage
What Happens When Domestic Violence Occurs?
Domestic violence can ruin relationships, impair children’s growth, and even put victims at risk of seriously bodily harm and death. Domestic violence can be ongoing for years or even decades, making it
extremely important for victims to reach out for help. People who are being victimized by domestic violence or abuse have many options to protect themselves from further abuse:
- Getting a domestic violence restraining order—This court order mandates that the abuser not come near you (or your child, if filing on their behalf) at home, school, or work, and can even force them to move out of your home.
- Getting a civil harassment restraining disorder—If you don’t quality for a domestic violence restraining order because of the nature of your relationship with the abuser (i.e., they aren’t a current or former romantic partner, parent of your child, or blood/marriage related), you can still receive a civil harassment restraining order, which includes many of the same protections.
- Getting an elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order—People age 65 or older can receive this restraining order, which protects them from future and potential abuse.
These Steps Require Knowledge of the Law or Legal Assistance
California’s family law legal system allows victims and potential victims of domestic abuse to get restraining orders filed against the people who mean to do them harm. But getting those orders can be difficult, especially when trying to navigate the challenges of daily life while also managing a difficult relationship with the abuser or potential abuser.
That’s where having an experienced California family law attorney on your side can be so helpful. At The Law Office of André J. Ausseresses, APC, we work hard to protect domestic violence victims and potential victims from their abusers and potential abusers. We’ll handle the legal legwork of reviewing the facts of what happened, creating evidence that abuse occurred, and working hard to ensure that a restraining order is filed and approved in time to protect you.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation. There’s too much at stake to ignore the issue or try to go it alone. Trust our experience and track record of success—it’s our goal to protect you from anyone who means to do you harm, whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally.
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