Legal Information: Hawaii

Restraining Orders

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March 11, 2022

What is the legal definition of domestic abuse in Hawaii?

This section defines domestic abuse for the purposes of getting an order for protection from family court.

Hawaii law defines “domestic abuse” as the occurrence of one or more of the following things between family or household members:

  • coercive control, which is defined as a pattern of threatening, humiliating, or intimidating actions that are committed to harm, punish, or frighten you or to make you dependent on the abuser by isolating you from support, taking away your independence, and controlling your everyday behavior, including:
    • isolating you from friends and family;
    • controlling how much money you can have and how you spend it;
    • monitoring your activities, communications, and movements;
    • calling you names and putting you down;
    • threatening to harm or kill you, your child, or relative;
    • threatening to publish information or make reports to the police or the authorities;
    • damaging property or household goods; or
    • forcing you to take part in criminal activity or child abuse;
  • physical harm/ bodily injury/ assault;
  • the threat of imminent physical harm/ bodily injury/ assault;
  • extreme psychological abuse (ongoing behavior/actions towards you that seriously disturbs or continually bothers you and has no purpose, causing you extreme emotional distress);
  • malicious property damage (purposely causing damage to your property to try and cause you emotional distress); and/or
  • sexual offenses committed by an adult against a child which include:

1 HRS § 586-1

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