California Family Law Attorney

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TIPS: What is Domestic Violence?

CA Family Code Section 6320

Definitions of "Abuse" In DV Statutes

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Family Code section 6203 and section 6320 together define what conduct and behaviors constitute "abuse" that can be prohibited and protected against by the issuance of domestic violence orders. Some of these behaviors may be quite subtle - for instance, conduct that a reasonable person would find intrusive or disturbing, even in the absence of physical hitting or destruction of property, can be enjoined if it "disturbs the peace". Whie the burden of proof for obtaining DV orders is by a preponderance of the evidence, because of the serious consequences that arise as a result of such orders California family courts are increasingly requiring some objective evidence of abuse beyond the victim's uncorroborated say-so.



Family Code Section 6203

For purposes of this act, "abuse" means any of the following:
(a) Intentionally or recklessly to cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.
(b) Sexual assault.
(c) To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
(d) To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320.