Legal Information: Colorado

Restraining Orders

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November 9, 2017

What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Colorado?

In Colorado, for the purpose of a civil protection order, domestic abuse/violence is defined as:

  • Any act, attempted act, or threatened act of violence, stalking, harassment, or coercion.  (Coercion is defined as using force, the threat of force, or intimidation to make you do something that you have the right not to do, or to make you not do something that you have the right to do.)  Domestic abuse can also include any act, attempted act, or threatened act of violence against your children under 18 or against any animal owned by either of the parties or by a child of either of the parties;*
  • Examples of behavior that may qualify as domestic abuse:
    • Name-calling;
    • Threatening or harassing phone calls;
    • When the abuser threatens to injure himself;
    • Threatening to physically or sexually abuse your children;
    • Threatening to use a weapon against you;
    • Threatening you by threatening to harm animals;
    • Threatening you by following you;
    • Threatening you by damaging property;
    • Throwing things;
    • Grabbing or pushing you;
    • Forcing sexual contact upon you;
    • Physically or sexually abusing the children in your household;
    • Slapping, punching, kicking, biting, choking or otherwise physically harming you; or
    • Forcing you to stay in a closet, room, house, or any other location against your will.**

To be considered domestic violence as defined under Colorado law, the person who acted abusively toward you must be someone:

  • Who is or was related to you by blood or marriage;
  • Who lives or has lived with you; or
  • Who you have or had an intimate relationship with.  You do not have to have sex during the relationship for it to count as an "intimate relationship."*

You can read the exact legal definitions on our CO State Statutes page.

* Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-14-101(2)
** See Colorado Protection Order Form JDF 401, Incident Checklist