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Domestic violence and California restraining orders

Domestic violence is an all-too-real problem for many men and women in California. In many cases, the domestic violence victim may be afraid to leave as they have very real concerns about suffering violence at the hands of their partner. In such cases, obtaining a restraining order against the other person can be a vitally important step to obtain protection.

Domestic violence restraining orders are available to people who have been abused by a current or former partner, not including a roommate, but only people with whom the relationship is or has been intimate. These types of restraining orders are also available to people who have other types of close familial relationships with the abuser, such as parent, child or grandparent.

Protections can include restraints on the person's contact, such as prohibiting them from attempting contact in anyway, including in person, phone calls, emails, social media messages or even sending messages through a third party. They can also restrain the person's conduct, preventing the person from assaulting, stalking, harassing or destroying property. Stay-away orders can be used to prevent the person coming within a specified distance of the protected party, his or her home and workplace, and move-out orders can be used to force the abuser to move out of a shared house or apartment, taking only their own clothing until a hearing scheduled before the court.

A restraining order may be necessary to ensure the safety of the protected party. Sometimes such orders can allow the abused person to separate him or herself from the domestic violence perpetrator, allowing the victim to then proceed with a divorce or other needed legal action. It is unfortunate that domestic violence continues to be such a large societal problem, but help is available to victims if it is needed.

Source: The Judicial Branch of California , "Restraining Orders", December 17, 2014

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