• Scott Berry

What is Domestic Abuse in Minnesota?

Orders For Protection


In Minnesota, the “Domestic Abuse” statute (Minn. Stat. § 518B.01) is somewhat limited in its application. There are two parts of the statute that must be met.

First, the abuse must have been committed by a family or household member against a family or household member. A “family or household member” means a spouse or former spouse, parent or child, someone related by blood, people who are living together or have live together in the past, if they have a child together, or someone who is involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.


What constitutes domestic abuse is also specific. Domestic abuse includes (1) physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; (2) infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault; (3) terroristic threats; (4) criminal sexual conduct; or (5) interference with an emergency call. Notably absent from this definition is emotional abuse and stalking.


The purpose of an Order for Protection is to prevent an individual that has caused domestic violence from having any contact (or limited contact) with the abused individual. In most cases, the Order for Protection defines an area for which the abuser must stay away from the person abused. In limited situations, where the parties share children, the court may allow limited contact between the parties by phone, text, or email to discuss issues relating to the parties’ children.


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