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;
- strangulation, which is defined as the actions described in the crimes of strangulation in the first degree or strangulation in the second degree or a criminal attempt, conspiracy, facilitation, or solicitation to commit the crime of strangulation; or
- putting someone in fear of immediate physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, strangulation, 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 since 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), (7)