Legal Information: Kentucky

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
April 20, 2022

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;
  • 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: “Members of an unmarried couple” only include dating partners who live(d) together or who have a child together. See Who can get a protective order? for more information.

1 KRS § 403.720(1), (7)

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