California Domestic Violence Defined

California has defined Domestic Violence, which is sometimes referred to as Domestic Abuse, Spousal Abuse, Partner Abuse, Spousal Battery and Domestic Battery, in the Family Code at Section 6203 – Abuse:

For purposes of this act, “abuse” means any of the following:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly to cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.
  2. Sexual Assault.
  3. To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.

To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320.

The definition of domestic violence or domestic abuse is therefore quite expansive and covers a wide range of behaviors. As a result, the allegations of spousal abuse or spousal battery, are very easy to make. Because all that is needed is the “I was afraid … ” statement and most courts in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and Santa Barbara Counties, and probably all the other counties of California, will issue a Temporary Restraining Order.

The long term effects of a Restraining Order mean that anyone who is faced with one, needs to have legal representation to fight the civil allegations of Domestic Violence and Domestic Battery.


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