A couple does not have to be married for domestic violence to occur. That in itself is not a necessary requirement to satisfy the definition of domestic violence. Domestic abuse, of course, is most prevalent among married couples, but this type of violence also occurs among non-married couples as well. What defines domestic violence is that it occurs in a home between two individuals who hold themselves out to be in a relationship. Again, that relationship does not necessarily have to be on that is recognized by law. For instance, domestic violence can occur between a girlfriend and boyfriend.
In La Mesa, California, a man was arrested after police received a domestic violence call from his girlfriend. The man's girlfriend, who ended up calling the authorities after her ex-boyfriend had reportedly hit her repeatedly and choked her, stabbed her ex-boyfriend in self-defense. The ex-boyfriend had to go to the hospital for treatment of the stab wounds, and was later arrested on domestic violence charges.
The authorities take domestic violence calls very seriously. When domestic violence is reported to the police and an investigation is begun, usually the alleged perpetrator is removed from the home, if warranted. If criminal charges are initiated, the perpetrator is arrested and must go through the criminal process. In cases where charges are not filed for whatever reason, the victim can compel the court to issue a temporary or permanent restraining order. Restraining orders are designed to protect the victim and family members from further domestic abuse by requiring the perpetrator to stay away from the victim.
Domestic violence can affect any type of relationship. If it does, knowing and understanding one's legal rights in this scenario is crucial.