There is often confusion in differentiating between domestic violence cases and civil harassment cases.
The demarcation however is quite clear. In civil harassment cases there is no relationship between the involved parties, while in domestic violence cases there is a defined intimate relationship between them and hence can be more harmful.
In U.S justice system, categories of domestic violence and civil harassment are complementary, although there is a misconception that civil harassment is subcategorized as domestic violence. Both of them involve violence or abuse, but relationship with the perpetrators is important to be considered.
It is easier to get a restraining order in domestic violence cases, since the victim and the abuser are related and it is in the interest of the victim to do so. Failing this, it is possible that the victim will face more abuse due to letting off of the abuser.
Getting an order for civil harassment is comparatively difficult, since no relationship can be established between the parties and it is necessary to prove that some sort of harm or threat has taken place. For example, harassment in verbal form is insufficient in civil harassment, but sufficient in domestic violence cases.
In any case it is advisable to get advice from experts here