In general, if a family or household member hurts you or tries to hurt you (with or without using a weapon) or gives you reason to believe that they are going to hurt you in the near future, that person has committed an act of family violence. For the purposes of getting a protective order, you must have a specific relationship with your abuser.

This type of behavior is illegal, and there are laws to protect you.

"Family violence" includes:

  • Rape
  • Hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping
  • Stalking
  • Criminal damage to property
  • Restraint against your will
  • Criminal trespass
  • Unwanted touching, forcing you to take part in sexual acts against your will
  • Threats of violence
  • Other felonies

Family violence does not include "reasonable discipline" by a parent to a child in corporal punishment, restraint or detention.

SOURCE: WomensLaw.org