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Am I experiencing domestic abuse?

If you think there is even a chance that you have experienced domestic abuse, it is important to understand exactly what is considered domestic violence or abuse in the state of California to help you take the next step.

According to the Judicial Branch of California, abuse is categorized "domestic" if the parties involved have either been in an intimate relationship such as dating, living together or have children together, or the two are related via marriage or by blood.

The act of abuse is not one specific action but can take on a variety of forms. Sexual assault is one such form as well as physically harming or trying to harm someone in an intentional manner. Physical abuse can encompass a multitude of forms of contact including hitting, pushing, kicking, pulling hair and blocking you from moving freely or leaving. Physical abuse can include that which is directed towards you, your children and even pets.

Domestic abuse can include making you fear for your safety or for the safety of someone else. Harassment, threats, destruction of property and stalking can also all fall under the category of abuse.

Even if the abuse you are suffering or witnessing is not physical in nature, it may still be categorized as domestic violence if it is verbal, psychological or emotional abuse.

If you think you may be experiencing a form of domestic violence or that your children are at risk, you can request that an order for protection be filed for you and your family. These may include a temporary restraining order, permanent protective order or others based on your particular needs and circumstances.

This post is meant to educate and should not be used in lieu of professional legal counsel.


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