I Think I'm a Victim of Domestic Violence

I fear that I'm a victim of domestic violence. What exactly constitutes domestic violence?

By Wendy K. Tse
November 28, 2013
CA FAQ/Domestic Violence/Abuse

Domestic violence is abuse perpetrated against any of the following persons:

  • A spouse or former spouse.
  • A cohabitant (a person who regularly resides in the household) or former cohabitant
  • A person with whom the respondent is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship.
  • A person with whom the respondent has had a child, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child of the female parent under the Uniform Parentage Act.
  • A child of a party or a child who is the subject of an action under the Uniform Parentage Act, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child to be protected.
  • Any other person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree.

"Abuse" means intentionally or recklessly to cause or attempt to cause bodily injury, or sexual assault, or to place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another. Domestic violence is an unfortunate reality that all too often may arise during the course of a family law dispute. In California, as a victim of actual or threatened domestic violence, you may file for a restraining order to protect you or your loved ones.

After a restraining order has been issued and the accused has been served, the California Law Enforcement Telecommunication System ("CLETS") keeps the information on file so as to ensure the accused is arrested should the order be violated while in place. A restraining order serves to protect you and your loved ones by preventing the accused from coming anywhere near your home, workplace, or anywhere else near you.

In cases of domestic violence or threat of violence, it is extremely important to get help as soon as possible to protect yourself and your loved ones.


Wendy K. Tse has exclusively practiced family law since 1998, with extensive experience in matters pertaining to California divorce, contested custody disputes, child support, and spousal support, among others. She is a member of the Los Angelos County Bar and Orange County Bar Associations and is a part of the Brandmeyer, Gilligan & Dockstader law firm team. View her firm's website.

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November 28, 2013

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