Legal Information: Kentucky

Restraining Orders

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September 21, 2017

What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Kentucky?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a protective order.  Kentucky law defines "domestic violence and abuse" as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between "family members" or "members of an unmarried couple:" 

  • physical injury or serious physical injury;
  • sexual abuse;
  • assault;
  • stalking; or
  • putting someone in fear of immediate physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault.1

Note: If you want to get protection against a boyfriend/girlfriend with whom you do not have a child or with whom you have never lived, you may qualify for an interpersonal protective order.  (Those relationships do not fit the legal definition of a "member of an unmarried couple" to qualify for a domestic violence order.)  To read the exact definitions of "family members" or "members of an unmarried couple," go to Who can get a protective order?  

1 KRS § 403.720(1)