How to Protect Yourself Against Harassment and Abuse in California


Area of Law: 

If someone is harassing and/or abusing you, the court can protect you by issuing restraining orders against your harasser/abuser.  The police can then enforce that restraining order against your harasser/abuser.  Generally, once a restraining order has been issued against your harasser/abuser, he or she may not have any contact with you.  

There are several different types of restraining orders in California.  Generally the type of restraining order you should obtain depends on your relationship to your harasser or on who you are.

Domestic Violence

If your harasser is a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or someone you have or had such similar intimate relationship with, you should seek an emergency protective order (EPO) if you are in immediate physical danger.  You should seek a Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) if your harasser is abusing you.  You should seek a Criminal Protective Order from a District Attorney’s office if there is a criminal domestic case against the harasser.  For more information on how to get these restraining orders against your harasser go to: for EPOs, for TROs, for Criminal Protective Orders.  A list of district attorney’s offices and their contact information in California may be found at

Elder Abuse

If you are a senior citizen who has been a victim of physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, or mental abuse, you should seek an elder abuse restraining order.  For more information on an elder abuse restraining order, go to:  If you are in immediate danger, you should seek an EPO.  Go to the link above for more information.

Workplace Violence

If you are experiencing harassment from a co-worker, your employer may seek a workplace violence restraining order against your harasser.  For more information, go here,, and here  For forms to file, go here,, or here,  If you are in immediate danger,  you should seek an EPO.  Go to the link above for more information.

Civil Harassment

If your harasser is anyone else, you should seek a civil harassment restraining order (CHO).  For more information on how to get a CHO against a harasser, go to  To fill out forms for a CHO, go here:  If you are in immediate danger, you should seek an EPO.  Go to the link above for more information.


Getting a restraining order is not a simple process.  If you do not understand the information above or the information the links provide, there are some organizations that will help you.  Additionally, you might consider getting a lawyer.  Below is a list of contact information for non-profit organizations that may help you in obtaining a restraining order against your harasser/abuser.

Bay Area:

Contact Senior Adult Legal Assistance (SALA):
160 East Virginia St., Suite 260
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 295-5991 – San Jose
(650) 969-8656 – North County
(408) 847-7252 – South County

Restraining Order Help Center
170 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95113

Los Angeles County Area:

LA County Elder Abuse Forensic Center

LA County Community and Seniors

San Diego County Area:

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer’s Program, Domestic Violence Clinic
Madge Bradley Courthouse
4th Floor, Room 407
1409 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


El Cajon Courthouse
250 E. Main Street
El Cajon, CA 92020
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(SDVLP staffing 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and all day Friday)


North Building of the Vista Court Complex
325 S. Melrose Drive
Vista, CA 92083
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Legal Aid Society of San Diego
Southbay Courthouse
500 Third Avenue, 1st Floor
Chula Vista, California 91911
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Central California:

Central California Legal Services

Riverside and Inland Empire:

Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino

Inland Counties Legal Services


There are a lot of senior

There are a lot of senior citizens who have to suffer through elder abuse. This is not acceptable in my eyes, and I think more people need to be aware of the resources that are out there. Having senior care resources that are available 24/7 can prevent elders from suffering abuse for long periods of time. There are people out there who care about this issue and looking into it further. I'm happy that this article is explaining all the resources that are available to the public. Thank you for sharing.