What a domestic violence restraining order in California can and can't do

A restraining order can:

  • Order the abuser not to harass, attack, hit, threaten, sexually assault, telephone the victim, disturb the victim’s peace, or contact the victim in any way.
  • Order the abuser to stay a certain distance away from the victim, and the victim’s home, work, or school.
  • Order the abuser to move out of the victim’s home regardless of who is on the lease or who holds title to the property.
  • Make custody, visitation and child support orders.
  • Give the victim use and control of shared property, such as furniture or a car.
  • Order the abuser to pay the victim’s attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Order the abuser to pay any expenses caused by recent violence, such as medical or hospital bills, temporary housing or damaged property.
  • Order the abuser to get counseling.
  • Order the abuser to turn over any firearms he has and prohibit him from legally possessing any other firearms for as long as the restraining order is in effect.

A restraining order can’t:

  • Guarantee the victim’s personal safety.
  • Guarantee the abuser will not still be able to intimidate or scare the victim.
  • Guarantee the safety and well-being of the victim’s children.
  • Give the victim permanent use and control of property belonging to the abuser.
  • Guarantee the abuser will be out of the victim’s life.
  • Guarantee the abuser will not destroy property that may be irreplaceable, such as photos or family treasures.
  • Cure” the abuser.
  • Prevent the abuser from getting a gun illegally.
  • Act as a bulletproof shield.

©1998-2005 Break the Cycle. All Rights Reserved.