What if There is Violence or Abuse in the Family?
In the United States, physical violence, threats of violence, sexual assault, and child abuse are illegal. Abuse is described as follows: (See California Family Code, Section 6203)
For abuse to be called "domestic violence":
It has to have happened between people who are "intimately involved" such as:
Often, a court will issue a protective order (called a restraining order) to make sure that one parent cannot hurt the other or threaten to hurt the other. If a court issues an order to protect one parent from domestic violence, it means that the other parent cannot hit, kick, scare, throw things, pull hair, push, follow, harass, sexually assault, or threaten to do any of these things. It also includes other actions that make someone afraid of being hurt. Domestic violence can be spoken, written, or physical.
While definitions of domestic violence vary from state to state and country to country, federal law says that is illegal to injure – or threaten to injure – anyone related, or with whom a person is living and having an intimate relationship. This is true regardless of a person’s cultural or religious heritage, citizenship status, or personal beliefs about discipline or the proper relationship between husbands and wives – or children.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Acts or threats of domestic violence, emotional abuse, child abuse, child sexual abuse, or child neglect will all be considered very seriously when decisions are being made about child custody and visitation. It is important that violent or abusive behavior is reported to the court. (See California Family Code, Section 3011)
IF YOU NEED PROTECTION RIGHT NOW, you should call 911,