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Break the Cycle
National & Los Angeles Office
5200 W. Century Blvd. Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Break the Cycle
Washington D.C. Office
P.O. Box 21034
Washington, D.C. 20009

Legal Information

Legal FAQ

Can I get a restraining order against my parents?

Yes. Most states allow you to get a restraining order against anyone in your immediate family. However, it is more complicated if you are under 18 and you live with your parents. The department of child protective services in your area may need to get involved, and may want to remove you from the home.

Can I get a restraining order against a whole group of people (like a gang)?

To get a restraining order, you have to be able to identify the person(s) doing the abuse and show that the individual person has either harmed or threatened to harm you. You must be able to name each person individually; naming the gang is not enough.

Is it still rape if the victim and the abuser are married?

Yes. Rape is when one person forces another person to have sexual intercourse. The relationship between the abuser and the victim does not matter. Even if they are married, boyfriend and girlfriend, or dating, it is rape. Being married (or in any relationship with someone) does not give a person the right to force someone else to have sex.

My teenage child is in an abusive relationship. Can I get a restraining order for him or her?

While you might, as a parent, be able to get a restraining order for your child (depending on the laws in your state), it may not be a good idea to do so without your child's agreement and involvement. A restraining order can be a very powerful tool to help keep a victim of domestic violence safe, but only if the victim is committed to enforcing the order. If your child is not ready to end the relationship, s/he likely will keep seeing the abuser behind your back, regardless of the restraining order. Doing this can:

It is a better idea to talk to your child and help him/her to see that the relationship is abusive. Learn more about how to help a friend or family member in need.