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Protection from Violence or Abuse

Introduction

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that is used by one person to gain or maintain power and control over another family member, household member, or past or present dating partner.

It means physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault between family or household members. If someone makes you afraid that you are going to be assaulted, that too may be domestic violence.

It can also mean sexual conduct between family or household members—whether minors or adults—that constitutes a crime under the laws of this state. For example, rape or sexual contact with a minor is illegal.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.

Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.