Legal Information: Delaware

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
April 11, 2016

What is the legal definition of abuse in Delaware?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting an order of protection from abuse.  Delaware law defines "domestic violence" as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts of "abuse" between family or household members:


  • causing or attempting to cause actual physical injury or a sexual offense;
  • placing or attempting to place you in fear of physical injury or a sexual offense being committed against you or another person;
  • damaging, destroying, or taking property;
  • engaging in a course of alarming or distressing conduct that is likely to cause fear or emotional distress or cause a violent or disorderly response;
  • trespassing;
  • child abuse (as defined by law);
  • kidnapping;
  • unlawful imprisonment;
  • interference with custody; or
  • any other conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening or harmful.*  

* 10 Del. C. § 1041(1),(2)