Legal Information: Kentucky

Restraining Orders

View all
Updated: 
November 15, 2023

What is the legal definition of dating violence and abuse, sexual assault, and stalking?

Dating violence and abuse is when someone who you are/were dating commits any of the following: 

  1. physical injury;
  2. serious physical injury;
  3. stalking;
  4. sexual assault; 
  5. strangulation; 
  6. puts you in fear of immediate (imminent) physical injury, serious physical injury, stalking, sexual assault, or strangulation;
  7. commits cruelty to animals in the 1st or 2nd degree;
  8. commits the crime called torturing a dog or cat
  9. commits sexual crimes against an animal; or
  10. makes you fear that the acts listed in numbers 7, 8, and 9 will immediately be committed against a domestic animal with which you have a close bond in order to coerce, control, punish, intimidate you or to get revenge against you.1

Sexual assault means an act of rape, sodomy, incest, or sexual abuse in any degree or a criminal attempt, conspiracy, facilitation, or solicitation to commit any of those crimes.2 The law covers all of the crimes in Chapter 510 of the Penal Code, which you can find on our Selected Kentucky Statutes page. To qualify for an interpersonal protective order, the sexual assault can be committed by a dating partner or a non-dating partner.

Stalking is defined as the actions described in the crimes of stalking in the first degree or stalking in the second degree or a criminal attempt, conspiracy, facilitation, or solicitation to commit either of those crimes.3 To qualify for an interpersonal protective order, the sexual assault can be committed by a dating partner or a non-dating partner.

1 KRS § 456.010(2), (9)
2 KRS § 456.010(7)
3 KRS § 456.010(8)

WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.