What is Abuse?

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Under California Law, Abuse is:

  • intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury (California Family Code, Section 6203(a)) Opens new window OR
  • sexual assault (California Family Code, Section 6203(b)) Opens new window OR
  • placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or another (i.e. threats or promises to harm a person) (California Family Code, Section 6203(c)) Opens new window OR
  • engaging in any type of behavior that has been or could be enjoined under (California Family Code, Sections 6203(d) and 6320) Opens new window  (i.e. harassing, molesting, stalking, threatening, striking, battering, or disturbing the peace).

Under the law, the past act(s) of abuse need not necessarily be the actual infliction of physical injury or assault.

To read an information sheet called "Can a DVRO Help Me?" (DV-500-INFO) in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese, click on the language you need:




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