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About Abuse

Marital / Partner Rape

Updated: 
December 5, 2018

Can I file for a restraining order against my spouse or partner?

Maybe – it will depend on whether your state recognizes sexual assault as part of the legal definition of “domestic violence” for the purposes of getting a restraining order, although the majority of states do include sexual assault as a legal reason for granting an order. (If you are not married to the abuser, it will also depend on the rules of your state regarding non-married intimate partners' ability to file for protective orders).  Please go to our Restraining Orders page for your state to find out more information on how to file, who can file, and how your state defines “domestic violence” for the purposes of getting a restraining order.

As part of a restraining order, you can ask the judge that the abuser be removed from the home that you share with him/her. However, if the judge does not grant this, you may have to be the one who leaves the home to protect yourself.   Please go to our Getting Ready to Leave  page for more information and tips on leaving safely -- but be aware that if you have children with the abuser, leaving without your children could hurt your chances at custody.   It is a good idea to speak with an attorney that knows the custody laws of your state before leaving. Please go to our Finding a Lawyer page to find a lawyer who specializes in custody issues in your state.