Being involved in a domestic violence situation is a horrifying experience affecting tens of thousands of people across Rhode Island each year. Victims of Rhode Island domestic abuse may be able to prevent their harasser or abuser from contacting them by obtaining a Rhode Island protective order. A protective order prohibits the person named in the order from engaging in any form of contact with the person who obtains the order, including contact through social media.
Contrary to what many believe, being the victim of domestic violence does not necessarily mean someone has been physically assaulted. Under Rhode Island General Laws section 15-15-1, domestic abuse is defined as certain acts between “present or former family members, parents, stepparents, or persons who are or have been in a substantive dating” relationship. Specifically, domestic violence consists of any of the following:
- Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;
- Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
- Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress; or
- Stalking or cyberstalking.