Domestic Violence Lawyers in Los Angeles, CA
Domestic Violence in California
In the state of California, domestic violence is defined as any abuse or threats of abuse between individuals of a certain, even intimate, relationship. This can include:
- Domestic partners
- Individuals who are dating or previously dated
- Individuals residing together
Ultimately, domestic violence refers to situations where the abused individual and their abuser are related closely, whether it is through blood or marriage.
What Qualifies as Domestic Violence?
According to domestic violence laws in California, there are a variety of different actions that qualify as domestic abuse. In addition to intentionally or recklessly harming (or attempting to harm) someone, the law also says an action is domestic violence if it involves:
- Sexual assault
- Threatening someone, or making them unreasonably afraid that they or another individual will be severely hurt
- Behavior like stalking, harassing, threatening, hitting another person, disturbing another individual’s peace, or destroying personal property
In many cases, domestic violence involves some sort of physical abuse. It’s important to note that physical abuse does not just refer to hitting – it can involve other harmful behavior like kicking, pushing, shoving, throwing things, or pulling hair. It can also refer to intentionally scaring or following another person, or the act of preventing someone from coming or going freely. California law also classifies physical abuse against family pets as domestic violence.
However, abuse does not have to be physical in order to be considered domestic violence. In fact, many domestic violence cases involve verbal abuse, as well as emotional or psychological trauma. The most important thing to remember about domestic violence is that someone does not have to be hit in order to be a victim.
Options for Domestic Violence Victims
Due to the intimate relationship between domestic violence abusers and victims, it can often be difficult for a victim to come forward, or feel that there are options for support or resolution. However, there are some legal options that victims can take to eliminate contact with an abuser.
One such option is a domestic violence restraining order, which can be issued in situations that meet two key criteria:
- An individual has abused you (or made threats of abuse)
- You have a close relationship with the abuser, such as a spouse, roommate, parent, or is closely related (siblings, grandparents, in-laws, etc.)
In situations where a parent is attempting to take action after the abuse of a child, it is possible to file a restraining order on behalf of the minor child, which can help protect them if they are not of a mature enough age to file one on their own.
For cases where a restraining order is not possible, there are still options for protection, including civil harassment restraining orders, workplace restraining orders and elder or dependent abuse restraining orders, depending on the situation at hand.
Los Angeles Domestic Abuse Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been the victim of domestic violence, know that you are not alone, and there is legal help available to protect you and your loved ones from your abuser.
That’s where the dedicated attorneys at Whitmarsh Family Law, PC come in. Throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles County, our legal team provides the in-depth legal support that victims need when dealing with abusive circumstances, including those who are experiencing difficult and dangerous domestic situations. Our attorneys can work with you to evaluate your case and determine what protections may be available and, if necessary, bring your case before a court of law.
We know dealing with domestic violence is never easy, but our team is prepared to help you and your loved ones every step of the way. To schedule an initial consultation to assess your case, contact the skilled legal team at Whitmarsh Family Law, PC at (310) 552-3505.