Domestic Violence - What is it?

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Sometimes, people who live together can love each other very much but have anger management or other problems that can result in threatened or actual violence.

In California, a Domestic Violence Restraining Order is a way the court can help to prevent repeated acts of violence or sexual abuse in a family, a home, or between people who have a close relationship.

This abuse Opens new window can be by: 

  • A spouse or former spouse;
  • People who are dating or used to date (it does not have to be an intimate or sexual relationship);
  • The mother or father of a child;
  • People related to each other by blood, marriage, or adoption to the 2nd degree (such as a mother, father, child, brother, sister, grandparent, or in-law);
  • A person who regularly lives or used to live in the home. (California Family Code, Section 6211) Opens new window

IF YOU NEED PROTECTION RIGHT NOW, you should call 911,

  • or a local law enforcement agency, or
  • a domestic violence shelter, or
  • the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-SAFE.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  There are different kinds of restraining orders. This section is for people who live together or are in a relationship. If you need protection from someone else (such as a neighbor or friend), click here to learn about civil harassment restraining orders: 
Judicial Council form CH-130 Opens new window

If you live in Contra Costa County, California, see Contra Costa County Information for phone numbers and resources.

For more help in California, go to LawHelpCalifornia. Opens new window

In this section you will find information about:

It will help you understand what to do:

BEFORE a legal proceeding is started

DURING a legal proceeding if you are the person seeking protection

DURING a legal proceeding if you are the person accused of abuse

AFTER a legal proceeding

This section also has answers for your Frequently Asked Questions about domestic violence, and information about the forms you will need for your case.

To read information sheets about Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, click here.

To view some short videos with general information about how California's court system works, click here. Opens new window

To get the information you need to get started, you can use the "drop down" menu at the left side of this page, or you can click on the "Next" button at the bottom of the page.


This website’s general information is very helpful for everyone in California.
To find your county court’s website to learn about extra forms or procedures,
click here.


Did this information help you?  Tell us what you think.

If you want help finding what you need, you can email us at virtualselfhelp@contracosta.courts.ca.gov.

You will receive a response within one week.