What is Domestic Violence?

Definition of Domestic Violence

Family Code §6211 defines Domestic Violence as an abuse perpetrated against any of the following persons:

  • A spouse or former spouse;
  • A co-habitant or former co-habitant as defined in Family Code §6209;
  • A person with whom the party is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship;
  • A person with whom the person has had a child, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child of the female parent under the Uniform Parentage Act;
  • A child or party or a child who is a subject of the action under the Uniform Parentage Act, where the presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child to be protected;
  • Any other person who is related consanguinity or affinity within the second degree

The Family Law Code continues and defines abuse in Family Code §6203 wherein the code states that abuse is:

The acts defined in Family Code §6320 which can be adjoined at an ex-parte (emergency) hearing are molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, sexually assaulting, battering, harassing, telephoning, including, but not limited to, annoying telephone calls as described in §653m of the Penal Code, destroying personal property, contacting, either directly or indirectly by mail or otherwise, coming within a specified distance of, or disturbing the peace of the other party, and, in the discretion of the court, on showing of good cause, of the other named family or household members.

Although the language of the code is specific, it is also not language normally used in our society. The code indicates that any close relationship and their family members, whether going up or down, are included in the code.

Intentionally or recklessly to cause or attempt to cause bodily injury;
Sexual assault;
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 §6320