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Legal Information: Connecticut

Restraining Orders

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January 3, 2024

What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Connecticut?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a relief from abuse order. Domestic violence is when a family or household member does one of the following to you:

  1. presents a continuous threat of present physical pain or physical injury;
  2. stalking; or
  3. a pattern of threatening, which includes, but is not limited to, when the abuser:
    • uses a physical threat to intentionally place or attempt to place you in fear of immediate serious physical injury; or
    • threatens to commit any crime of violence with the intention of terrorizing you or with disregard to the fact that the threat can cause you to be terrorized; or
  4. coercive control, which is a pattern of behavior that unreasonably interferes with a your free will and personal liberty. “Coercive control” includes, but is not limited to:
    • isolating you from friends, relatives, or other sources of support;
    • depriving you of basic needs;
    • controlling or monitoring your movements, communications, daily behavior, finances, economic resources, or access to services;
    • making you do something that you don’t want to do or not allowing you to do something you do want to do by using force, intimidation, or threats against you, including threats based on your actual or suspected immigration status;
    • committing or threatening to commit cruelty to animals to intimidate you; or
    • forcing you to do sexual acts, or making threats of a sexual nature, including, threats to commit sexual acts, threats based on your sexuality, or threats to release sexual images of you to other people or on the internet, for example.1

1 C.G.S. §§ 46b-15(a); 46b-1(b); 53a-62(a)