What is the legal definition of abuse in South Carolina?
This section defines abuse for the purposes of getting an order of protection.
South Carolina law defines abuse as when a “family or household member”:
- physically harms you or threatens to do so;
- physically injures you;
- assaults you; or
- rapes you or commits another sexual criminal offense against you.1
A family or household member is defined as:
- a spouse or ex-spouse;
- someone who you have a child in common with; or
- someone who you live(d) with.2
Note: If the acts of the abuser do not fit in this definition, or if you don’t have the required relationship with the abuser, you may still be eligible for a restraining order against stalking or harassment. See our Restraining Orders Against Stalking or Harassment page for more information.
1 S.C. Code § 20-4-20(a)
2 S.C. Code § 20-4-20(b); Jane Doe v. State of South Carolina, 421 S.C. 490, 808 S.E.2d 807 (2017)