If You are the Person Seeking Protection

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CoupleIn California, the court can try to help to prevent repeated acts of violence and sexual abuse by issuing Restraining Orders.

These provide a separation of the people involved that is long enough for these people to try to deal with the causes of the violence.


  • 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.

If you live in Contra Costa County, California, click here for phone numbers to call and other resources for assistance.

If you ask the court for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, you should be prepared to not see or talk to the person to be restrained.

If you aren't sure whether you want to end your relationship or get back together with the person you want to be restrained, consider talking with the staff at a domestic violence shelter, a counselor, or an attorney to help you decide.

Trust your instincts and do everything you can to keep yourself out of harm's way.

  • A Restraining Order can help protect you, but it is still just a piece of paper.
  • Don't harbor a false sense of security.
  • Make a plan for how to live without violence.

It's important that you understand domestic violence, and the steps you can take to act in your own best interests.

You may want to consult with an attorney who is qualified in these matters.  For help in getting low-cost legal aid, click here. Opens new window

At this web site you will find information about what to do:

BEFORE you ask for a DV Restraining Order:

DURING a legal proceeding:

AFTER a legal proceeding:

Please note:

  • Some words have special meanings when used by the court. If you click on a word that is in blue with this symbol (example default Opens new
    window), a new window will open and it will give you an explanation of what the word means.
  • We also have some videos that may help you understand this information. If you see this link (exampleShow Me | Tell Me”) Opens new window you can click on this link which will take you to a page with video and audio files that you can watch and/or listen to on your computer.
  • Finally, most people have lots of questions about domestic violence cases.  For this reason, we have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and about the forms you will need for your case.
  • To get the information you need, you can click on the section name that is in blue, use the “drop down” menu at the left side of each page, or you can click on the “Next” button at the bottom of some pages.

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


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