In California, domestic violence is defined as an abuser physically hurting or trying to hurt someone, harassing or threatening another person, destroying personal property or sexual assault. It involves people who are or have been in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, living together or having a child together.
Domestic violence can also be verbal, emotional or psychological. It is a serious matter and there are options for victims to request a restraining order against the abuser.
Types of restraining orders
Victims can request a temporary restraining order (TRO) by going to court to explain the situation to a judge. If the judge agrees that the victim needs protection, he or she will grant a TRO. It will usually be in place for 20 to 25 days until the court schedules a hearing date.
When the hearing takes place, the judge can issue a permanent restraining order. They usually are in place for up to three years and the victim can request a new restraining order at the end of the three-year period.
Sometimes, criminal charges will be filed against the abuser. In these situations, a criminal court may issue a protective order against the abuser while the case is ongoing and if the abuser is found guilty, it may continue for three years after the case is finished.
The restraining order will be based on the circumstances of the incident. However, they generally require the abuser to stay away from the victim, prevents him or her from having a gun, requires the abuser to release or return certain property and the abuser must complete an intervention program.
An experienced attorney can assist victims with the restraining order process.