Restraining Orders - Overview
Victims of nonconsensual publication of sexually explicit material online will likely be able to obtain a restraining order that prohibits the harasser from continuing to harass the victim. There are two types of restraining orders that may be appropriate: (1) A protection order under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, or (2) A civil harassment protection order.
The primary difference between domestic violence and civil harassment protection orders is that the former are limited in availability to situations where abuse is perpetrated against current or former spouses, cohabitants, persons in dating or engagement relationships, persons who have had a child together, and “any other person[s] related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree.”1 A domestic violence restraining order may be more tailored to the needs of a victim who has or had a special relationship with his/her harasser. Among other things, the form for a domestic violence restraining order asks whether the victim is requesting a move-out order; child support, custody or visitation order; spousal support order; property control order; or a possession and stay-away order for pets.2
If the harasser is not related to the victim in one of the above-listed ways, then the victim should instead seek a Civil Harassment Order under the Cal. Code of Civ. Pro. § 527.6. The form for this kind of order is not as specific as the form for a domestic violence restraining order, but it does contain a space where the victim can specify any “other orders” that s/he requests.3