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An Overview of Abuse & Harassment Laws in California

Last updated 4 years ago

If you are the victim of abuse or harassment, the legal protection you need depends on the type of relationship you had with the abuser. It also depends on your age and the type of abuse you are experiencing. In California, there are four types of abuse or harassment cases that are handled in civil court:

Domestic violence
Domestic violence encompasses any abuse or threat of abuse in which the victim and abuser are married, domestic partners, divorced, separated, or previously involved in a romantic relationship. It can also involve close relationships that aren’t romantic, including parent, child, sibling, or in-law. It’s important to remember that domestic abuse doesn’t just refer to physical violence. It also refers to verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse.

Elder adult abuse
Elder adult abuse refers to abuse of someone 65 years or older or abuse of a dependent adult between the ages of 18 and 64 who suffers from mental or physical disabilities. Elder abuse encompasses any act that causes physical harm, pain, or mental suffering.

Civil harassment
Unlike domestic violence, civil harassment involves stalking, abusing, or sexually assaulting someone who isn’t closely related. However, it also encompasses abuse from extended family members, including aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

Workplace violence
Workplace violence is defined in the same way civil harassment is defined. However, this form of abuse encompasses situations that happen primarily in the workplace. In workplace violence cases, either the employer of the harassed employee or the family of the employee asks for workplace protection. In order for an employer to obtain a restraining order on behalf of his or her employee, the employer needs to show the employee has suffered workplace harm and that the conduct isn’t allowed under a legitimate labor dispute.

The family lawyers of Moreno Family Law of San Jose, CA can help you obtain or defend yourself from a restraining order. Led by family law specialist, Marilyn E. Moreno, our firm handles a range of family law issues, including divorce. For more information about our lawyers or areas of practice, call us at (408) 266-9011.


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