Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse


Q: If I am dating someone and they abuse me, is that considered domestic violence?

A: Arizona law currently includes 30 crimes, that when combined with a family or a romantic or sexual relationship, equal domestic violence (A.R.S. §13-3601).

  • Assault                              
  • Harassment
  • Criminal Damages
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Disobeying a Court Order
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Endangerment
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Surreptitious Photographing
  • Threats & Intimidation
  • Unlawful Imprisonment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Unlawful Distribution of Images
  • Cruel Mistreatment of Animals
  • Preventing or Interfering with the use of a Telephone in an Emergency
  • Telephone Harassment 


Q: Can an abused person press criminal charges against the offending partner?

A: Yes. Domestic Violence is a crime. If you are abused, immediately call the police or prosecuting attorney’s office. Get hospital treatment and keep records of injuries, names of witnesses, police officers, and medical attendants. Get copies of medical reports. A temporary restraining order may be requested to keep your partner away from your school, home, and work (A.R.S. §13-3601 & A.R.S. §13-3602).


Q: What is an Order of Protection?

AAn Order of Protection is a court order prohibiting a specific person from coming near your school, home, work, or other location listed in the order. It may be used when the person asking for the order (the plaintiff) has been either married or in a romantic relationship with the opposing party (the defendant). If the plaintiff does not have a family or a romantic relationship with the defendant, the plaintiff may file a petition requesting an Injunction Against Harassment if the defendant has committed a series of acts of harassment against the plaintiff. If the judge approves the petition, the judge can issue the following:

  • Orders the defendant not to commit acts of domestic violence;
  • Gives the plaintiff exclusive use of a house that both people previously shared;
  • Prevents the defendant from coming near the house or apartment, place of employment, or school of the plaintiff;
  • May prohibit the defendant from possessing guns; and
  • Includes any other relief necessary for the protection of the plaintiff.

The order of protection is not in effect until it is personally served on the defendant. Once served, the defendant has a right to a hearing. After a hearing, the judge may order the defendant to obtain counseling. (A.R.S. §13-3602 and A.R.S. §12-1809)


Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.