Domestic violence, or the use of physically or psychologically intimidating behavior is a crime. In most states, a judge can issue a court injunction ordering the perpetrator to cease the offending behavior, or to stay away from the victim for a specified period of time. In emergency cases, the police or a prosecutor may ask a judge to issue a temporary injunction or restraining order, which remains in effect until a hearing can be arranged to decide on more permanent measures. An emergency injunction can be issued at any time at the discretion of a judge, even at nighttime or during a weekend. If there's a hearing and a permanent injunction is issued, it remains in effect until it's revoked by the court. A typical restraining order may include an order not to come within a certain distance of the victim's home, place of work, or person. Breaking a court injunction is usually a misdemeanor crime punished by a fine or a jail sentence; a repeat offense is often classified as a felony, which can lead to heavy fines or a significant prison sentence. Domestic violence involving children may result in an investigation by Child Protective Services, who may decide to take legal steps to correct the situation by filing for a court injunction, or by taking the child into protective care. If you're involved in a domestic violence situation, you should contact the police or a local prosecutor's office and file charges against the perpetrator. To find out more about your rights and options, contact an attorney.