Domestic Violence/Domestic Abuse Definitions and Relationships

6/13/2019

Domestic violence and abuse, an issue that is never far from the headlines, continues to be a pervasive issue in the United States. State legislatures are at the forefront of defining and penalizing domestic violence and abuse.

States vary in their domestic violence provisions. Approximately 38 states place domestic violence definitions and penalties within the criminal code and nearly every state provides a definition within the domestic relations or social services codes. Within this variance are broad definitions that may include stalking, harassment and, in some instances, nonphysical abuse including intimidation and emotional abuse.

Some states also have addressed child witnessing of domestic violence. Approximately 23 states address child witnessing of domestic violence somewhere in statute. While some consider it an aggravating circumstance when sentencing a perpetrator, other states have created a separate offense that may be levied. View the Child Welfare Information Gateway Child Witnesses to Domestic Violence report for a discussion of the crossover between child abuse and neglect and domestic violence.

Within the realm of domestic violence and abuse are various other topics, including protection orders, safe court processes and custody and visitation or parenting time. According to the American Bar Association, the presence of domestic violence is a factor considered when determining custody and visitation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Below is a chart with basic state provisions regarding domestic violence or abuse, the definitions of conduct amounting to domestic violence or abuse, and the relationships where that conduct may be considered domestic violence or abuse.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or use the dropdown menu option to select a state.

State Laws on Domestic Violence and Abuse

State

Statute

What is Domestic Abuse/Violence?

What Relationship?

Alabama

Ala. Code §30-5-2

(1) ABUSE. The occurrence of conduct directed at a plaintiff as defined by this chapter, including the following:

a. Arson. Arson as defined under Sections 13A-7-40 to 13A-7-43, inclusive.

b. Assault. Assault as defined under Sections 13A-6-20 to 13A-6-22, inclusive.

c. Attempt. With the intent to commit any crime under this section or any other criminal act under the laws of this state, performing any overt act towards the commission of the offense.

d. Child abuse. Abusing children as defined under Chapter 15, commencing with Section 26-15-1, of Title 26, known as the Alabama Child Abuse Act.

e. Criminal coercion. Criminal coercion as defined under Section 13A-6-25.

f. Criminal trespass. Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the premises of another after having been warned not to do so either orally or in writing by the owner of the premises or other authorized person as defined under Sections 13A-7-2 to 13A-7-4.1, inclusive.

g. Harassment. Harassment as defined under Section 13A-11-8.

h. Kidnapping. Kidnapping as defined under Sections 13A-6-43 and 13A-6-44.

i. Menacing. Menacing as defined under Section 13A-6-23.

j. Other conduct. Any other conduct directed toward a plaintiff covered by this chapter that could be punished as a criminal act under the laws of this state.

k. Reckless endangerment. Reckless endangerment as defined under Section 13A-6-24.

l. Sexual abuse. Any sexual offenses included in Article 4, commencing with Section 13A-6-60, of Chapter 6 of Title 13A.

m. Stalking. Stalking as defined under Sections 13A-6-90 to 13A-6-94, inclusive.

n. Theft. Knowingly obtaining or exerting unauthorized control or obtaining control by deception over property owned by or jointly owned by the plaintiff and another. Theft includes theft as defined under Sections 13A-8-1 to 13A-8-5, inclusive.

o. Unlawful imprisonment. Unlawful imprisonment as defined under Sections 13A-6-41 and 13A-6-42.

(7) VICTIM. An individual who is related to the person who commits an act of abuse in any of the following ways:

a. Is related by marriage to the defendant, including a common law marriage.

b. Had a former marriage or common law marriage with the defendant.

c. Has a child in common with the defendant regardless of whether the victim and defendant have ever been married and regardless of whether they are currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same household.

d. Has or had a dating relationship with the defendant.

e. Is a current or former household member. A household member is a person maintaining or having maintained a living arrangement with the defendant where he or she is in, or was engaged in, a romantic or sexual relationship.

f. A relative of a current or former household member as defined in paragraph e. who also lived with the defendant.

g. An individual who is a parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild and who is in or has maintained a living arrangement with the defendant.

 

(3) DATING RELATIONSHIP.

a. A significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature characterized by the expectation of affectionate or sexual involvement over a period of time and on a continuing basis during the course of the relationship.

b. A dating relationship includes the period of engagement to be married.

c. A dating relationship does not include a casual or business relationship or a relationship that ended more than 12 months prior to the filing of the petition for a protection order.

Alaska

Alaska Code §18.66.990

 (3) "domestic violence" and "crime involving domestic violence" mean one or more of the following offenses or an offense under a law or ordinance of another jurisdiction having elements similar to these offenses, or an attempt to commit the offense, by a household member against another household member:
(A) a crime against the person under AS 11.41;

 (B) burglary under AS 11.46.300 - 11.46.310;
(C) criminal trespass under AS 11.46.320 - 11.46.330;
(D) arson or criminally negligent burning under AS 11.46.400 - 11.46.430;
 (E) criminal mischief under AS 11.46.475 - 11.46.486;
 (F) terrorist threatening under AS 11.56.807 or 11.56.810;
 (G) violating a protective order under AS 11.56.740(a)(1); or
(H) harassment under AS 11.61.120(a)(2) - (4);

 (5) "household member" includes
(A) adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
 (B) adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;
 (C) adults or minors who are dating or who have dated;
(D) adults or minors who are engaged in or who have engaged in a sexual relationship;
 (E) adults or minors who are related to each other up to the fourth degree of consanguinity, whether of the whole or half blood or by adoption, computed under the rules of civil law;
(F) adults or minors who are related or formerly related by marriage;
(G) persons who have a child of the relationship; and
 (H) minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in (A) - (G) of this paragraph;

Arizona

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §13-3601

A. "Domestic violence" means any act that is a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705 or an offense prescribed in section 13-1102, 13-1103, 13-1104, 13-1105, 13-1201, 13-1202, 13-1203, 13-1204, 13-1302, 13-1303, 13-1304, 13-1406, 13-1425, 13-1502, 13-1503, 13-1504, 13-1602 or 13-2810, section 13-2904, subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3 or 6, section 13-2910, subsection A, paragraph 8 or 9, section 13-2915, subsection A, paragraph 3 or section 13-2916, 13-2921, 13-2921.01, 13-2923, 13-3019, 13-3601.02 or 13-3623, if any of the following applies:

 

1. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is one of marriage or former marriage or of persons residing or having resided in the same household.

2. The victim and the defendant have a child in common.

3. The victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party.

4. The victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, stepparent, step-grandparent, stepchild, step-grandchild, brother-in-law or sister-in-law.

5. The victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant.

6. The relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship. The following factors may be considered in determining whether the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship:

(a) The type of relationship.

(b) The length of the relationship.

(c) The frequency of the interaction between the victim and the defendant.

(d) If the relationship has terminated, the length of time since the termination.

Arkansas

Ark. Stat. Ann. § 5-26-302 through § 5-26-309

Varying degrees of domestic battery are defined in statute.

  (1)(A) “Dating relationship” means a romantic or intimate social relationship between two (2) individuals that is determined by examining the following factors:

(i) The length of the relationship;

(ii) The type of the relationship; and

(iii) The frequency of interaction between the two (2) individuals involved in the relationship.

(B) “Dating relationship” does not include a casual relationship or ordinary fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context;

 

(2) “Family or household member” means:

(A) A spouse;

(B) A former spouse;

(C) A parent;

(D) A child, including any minor residing in the household;

(E)(i) Persons related by blood within the fourth degree of consanguinity.

(ii) The degree of consanguinity is computed pursuant to § 28-9-212;

(F) Persons who presently or in the past have resided or cohabited together;

(G) Persons who have or have had a child in common; or

(H) Persons who are presently or in the past have been in a dating relationship together;

California

Cal. Fam. Code §6203

 

Cal. Fam. Code § 6209-6211

(a) For purposes of this act, “abuse” means any of the following:

(1) To intentionally or recklessly cause or attempt to cause bodily injury.

(2) Sexual assault.

(3) To place a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.

(4) To engage in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined pursuant to Section 6320.

(b) Abuse is not limited to the actual infliction of physical injury or assault.

6209.  "Cohabitant" means a person who regularly resides in the

household. "Former cohabitant" means a person who formerly regularly

resided in the household.

 

6210.  "Dating relationship" means frequent, intimate associations

primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual

involvement independent of financial considerations.

 

6211.  "Domestic violence" is abuse perpetrated against any of the

following persons:

   (a) A spouse or former spouse.

   (b) A cohabitant or former cohabitant, as defined in Section 6209.

   (c) A person with whom the respondent is having or has had a

dating or engagement relationship.

   (d) A person with whom the respondent has had a child, where the

presumption applies that the male parent is the father of the child

of the female parent under the Uniform Parentage Act (Part 3

(commencing with Section 7600) of Division 12).

   (e) A child of a party or a child who is the subject of an action

under the Uniform Parentage Act, where the presumption applies that

the male parent is the father of the child to be protected.

   (f) Any other person related by consanguinity or affinity within

the second degree.

Colorado

Colo. Stat. § 13-14-101

 

Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-6-800.3

(1) “Domestic violence” means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. “Domestic violence” also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.

(2) "Domestic abuse" means any act, attempted act, or threatened act of violence, stalking, harassment, or coercion that is committed by any person against another person to whom the actor is currently or was formerly related, or with whom the actor is living or has lived in the same domicile, or with whom the actor is involved or has been involved in an intimate relationship. A sexual relationship may be an indicator of an intimate relationship but is never a necessary condition for finding an intimate relationship. For purposes of this subsection (2), "coercion" includes compelling a person by force, threat of force, or intimidation to engage in conduct from which the person has the right or privilege to abstain, or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right or privilege to engage. "Domestic abuse" may also include any act, attempted act, or threatened act of violence against:
(a) The minor children of either of the parties; or
(b) An animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either of the parties or by a minor child of either of the parties, which threat, act, or attempted act is intended to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or exact revenge upon either of the parties or a minor child of either of the parties.

(2) "Intimate relationship" means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.

Connecticut

Conn. Stat. § 46b-38a

(1) “Family violence” means an incident resulting in physical harm, bodily injury or assault, or an act of threatened violence that constitutes fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, including, but not limited to, stalking or a pattern of threatening, between family or household members. Verbal abuse or argument shall not constitute family violence unless there is present danger and the likelihood that physical violence will occur.

(2) “Family or household member” means any of the following persons, regardless of the age of such person: (A) Spouses or former spouses; (B) parents or their children; (C) persons related by blood or marriage; (D) persons other than those persons described in subparagraph (C) of this subdivision presently residing together or who have resided together; (E) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time; and (F) persons in, or who have recently been in, a dating relationship.

Delaware

Del. Stat. tit. 10, § 1041

(1) "Abuse" means conduct which constitutes the following:

a. Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause physical injury or a sexual offense, as defined in § 761 of Title 11;

b. Intentionally or recklessly placing or attempting to place another person in reasonable apprehension of physical injury or sexual offense to such person or another;

c. Intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying or taking the tangible property of another person;

d. Engaging in a course of alarming or distressing conduct in a manner which is likely to cause fear or emotional distress or to provoke a violent or disorderly response;

e. Trespassing on or in property of another person, or on or in property from which the trespasser has been excluded by court order;

f. Child abuse, as defined in Chapter 9 of Title 16;

g. Unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, interference with custody and coercion, as defined in Title 11; or

h. Any other conduct which a reasonable person under the circumstances would find threatening or harmful.

(2) "Domestic violence" means abuse perpetrated by 1 member against another member of the following protected classes:

a. Family, as that term is defined in § 901(12) of this title, regardless, however, of state of residence of the parties; or

b. Former spouses; persons cohabitating together who are holding themselves out as a couple, with or without a child in common; persons living separate and apart with a child in common; or persons in a current or former substantive dating relationship. For purposes of this paragraph, neither a casual acquaintanceship nor ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute a substantive dating relationship. Factors to consider for a substantive dating relationship may include the length of the relationship, or the type of relationship, or the frequency of interaction between the parties.

District of Columbia

D.C. Code § 16-1001

  (6) "Interpersonal violence" means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person:
         (A) With whom the offender shares or has shared a mutual residence; or
         (B) Who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with another person who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with the offender.
      (7) "Intimate partner violence" means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person:
         (A) To whom the offender is or was married;
         (B) With whom the offender is or was in a domestic partnership; or
         (C) With whom the offender is or was in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship.
      (8) "Intrafamily offense" means interpersonal, intimate partner, or intrafamily violence.
      (9) "Intrafamily violence" means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person to whom the offender is related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership, or with whom the offender has a child in common.

  (6) "Interpersonal violence" means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person:
         (A) With whom the offender shares or has shared a mutual residence; or
         (B) Who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with another person who is or was married to, in a domestic partnership with, divorced or separated from, or in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship with the offender.
      (7) "Intimate partner violence" means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person:
         (A) To whom the offender is or was married;
         (B) With whom the offender is or was in a domestic partnership; or
         (C) With whom the offender is or was in a romantic, dating, or sexual relationship.
      (8) "Intrafamily offense" means interpersonal, intimate partner, or intrafamily violence.
      (9) "Intrafamily violence" means an act punishable as a criminal offense that is committed or threatened to be committed by an offender upon a person to whom the offender is related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, or domestic partnership, or with whom the offender has a child in common.

Florida

Fla. Stat. § 741.28

(2) “Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

(3) “Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

Georgia

Ga. Stat. Ann. § 19-13-10

(5) "Family violence" means the commission of the offenses of battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, or criminal trespass between family or household members.

 (4) "Family or household members" means past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household.

Hawaii

Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 586-1

 

Hawaii Stat. 709-906

"Domestic abuse" means:

     (1)  Physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the threat of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault, extreme psychological abuse or malicious property damage between family or household members; or

     (2)  Any act which would constitute an offense under section 709-906, or under part V or VI of chapter 707 committed against a minor family or household member by an adult family or household member.

“Family or household member”:

(1) Means spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries, former spouses or former reciprocal beneficiaries, persons who have a child in common, parents, children, persons related by consanguinity, persons jointly residing or formerly residing in the same dwelling unit, and persons who have or have had a dating relationship; and

(2) Does not include those who are, or were, adult roommates or cohabitants only by virtue of an economic or contractual affiliation.

“Dating relationship” means a romantic, courtship, or engagement relationship, often but not necessarily characterized by actions of an intimate or sexual nature, but does not include a casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context.

Idaho

Idaho Code § 18-918

(2)  (a) Any household member who in committing a battery, as defined in section 18-903, Idaho Code, inflicts a traumatic injury upon any other household member is guilty of a felony.

(b)  A conviction of felony domestic battery is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term not to exceed ten (10) years or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or by both fine and imprisonment.

(3)  (a) A household member who commits an assault, as defined in section 18-901, Idaho Code, against another household member which does not result in traumatic injury is guilty of a misdemeanor domestic assault.

(b)  A household member who commits a battery, as defined in section 18-903, Idaho Code, against another household member which does not result in traumatic injury is guilty of a misdemeanor domestic battery.

(a)  "Household member" means a person who is a spouse, former spouse, or a person who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or a person with whom a person is cohabiting, whether or not they have married or have held themselves out to be husband or wife.

Illinois

Ill. Stat. ch. 750, § 60/103

(1) "Abuse" means physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty or willful deprivation but does not include reasonable direction of a minor child by a parent or person in loco parentis.

(3) “Domestic violence” means abuse as defined in paragraph (1).

 (6) "Family or household members" include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly have a child in common, persons who share or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, persons with disabilities and their personal assistants, and caregivers as defined in Section 12-4.4a of the Criminal Code of 2012. For purposes of this paragraph, neither a casual acquaintanceship nor ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute a dating relationship. In the case of a high-risk adult with disabilities, "family or household members" includes any person who has the responsibility for a high-risk adult as a result of a family relationship or who has assumed responsibility for all or a portion of the care of a high-risk adult with disabilities voluntarily, or by express or implied contract, or by court order.

Indiana

Ind. Code § 35-42-2-1.3

“Crime of domestic violence”, for purposes of IC 5–2–6.1, IC 35–38–9, and IC 35–47–4–7, means an offense or the attempt to commit an offense that:

(1) has as an element the:

(A) use of physical force; or

(B) threatened use of a deadly weapon; and

(2) is committed against a family or household member, as defined in section 128 of this chapter.

A spouse of the other person; is or was living as if a spouse of the other person as provided in subsection (c); or has a child in common with the other person.

 

(c) In considering whether a person is or was living as a spouse of another individual for purposes of subsection (a)(2), the court shall review:

(1) the duration of the relationship;

(2) the frequency of contact;

(3) the financial interdependence;

(4) whether the two individuals are raising children together;

(5) whether the two individuals have engaged in tasks directed toward maintaining a common household; and

(6) other factors the court considers relevant.

Iowa

Iowa Stat. § 236.2

 

2. “Domestic abuse” means committing assault as defined in section 708.1 under any of the following circumstances:

a. the assault is between family or household members who resided together at the time of the assault

b. the assault is between separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the assault.

c. the assault is between persons who are parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.

d. the assault is between persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year and are not residing together at the time of the assault.

e. (1) the assault is between persons who are in an intimate relationship or have been in an intimate relationship and have had contact within the past year of the assault. In determining whether persons are or have been in an intimate relationship, the court may consider the following nonexclusive list of factors:

(a) the duration of the relationship

(b) the frequency of interaction

(c) whether the relationship has been terminated

(d) the nature of the relationship, characterized by either party’s expectation of sexual or romantic involvement

(2) a person may be involved in an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time.

4.a. “Family or household members” means spouses, persons cohabitating, parents, or other persons related by consanguinity or affinity

4.b. “Family or household members” does not include children under age eighteen of persons listed in paragraph “a”.

5. “Intimate relationship” means a significant romantic involvement that need not include sexual involvement. An intimate relationship does not include casual social relationships or associations in a business or professional capacity.

Kansas

Kan. Stat. § 60-3102

(a) "Abuse" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between intimate partners or household members:

(1) Intentionally attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury.

(2) Intentionally placing, by physical threat, another in fear of imminent bodily injury.

(3) Engaging in any of the following acts with a minor under 16 years of age who is not the spouse of the offender:

(A) The act of sexual intercourse; or

(B)  any lewd fondling or touching of the person of either the minor or the offender, done or submitted to with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desires of either the minor or the offender, or both.

(b) "Intimate partners or household members" means persons who are or have been in a dating relationship, persons who reside together or who have formerly resided together or persons who have had a child in common.

(c) "Dating relationship" means a social relationship of a romantic nature.  A dating relationship shall be presumed if a plaintiff verifies, pursuant to K.S.A. 53-601, and amendments thereto, that such relationship exists. In addition to any other factors the court deems relevant, the court shall consider the following factors in making a determination of whether a relationship exists or existed include:

(1) Nature of the relationship;

(2) length of time the relationship existed;

(3) frequency of interaction between the parties; and

(4) time since termination of the relationship, if applicable.

Kentucky

 

Ky. Stat. § 403.720

(1) “Domestic violence and abuse” means physical injury, serious physical injury, stalking, sexual abuse, strangulation, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, strangulation, or assault between family members or members of an unmarried couple;

(2) “Dating violence and abuse” means physical injury, serious physical injury, stalking, sexual assault, strangulation, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, strangulation, or assault occurring between persons who are or have been in a dating relationship;

(2) “Family member” means a spouse, including a former spouse, a grandparent, a parent, a child, a stepchild, or any other person living in the same household as a child if the child is the alleged victim

(4) “Member of an unmarried couple” means each member of an unmarried couple which allegedly has a child in common, any children of that couple, or a member of an unmarried couple who are living together or have formerly lived together.

(1) “Dating relationship” means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. It does not include a casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context. The following factors may be considered in addition to any other relevant factors in determining whether the relationship is or was of a romantic or intimate nature:

(a) Declarations of romantic interest;

(b) The relationship was characterized by the expectation of affection;

(c) Attendance at social outings together as a couple;

(d) The frequency and type of interaction between the persons, including whether the persons have been involved together over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship;

(e) The length and recency of the relationship; and

(f) Other indications of a substantial connection that would lead a reasonable person to understand that a dating relationship existed;

Louisiana

 

La. Rev. Stat. § 46:2132

(3)  "Domestic abuse" includes but is not limited to physical or sexual abuse and any offense against the person as defined in the Criminal Code of Louisiana, except negligent injury and defamation, committed by one family or household member against another.  "Domestic abuse" also includes abuse of adults as defined in R.S. 15:1503 when committed by an adult child or adult grandchild.

(4)  "Family members" means spouses, former spouses, parents and children, stepparents, stepchildren, foster parents, and foster children.  "Household members" means any person of the opposite sex presently or formerly living in the same residence with the defendant as a spouse, whether married or not, who is seeking protection under this Part.  If a parent or grandparent is being abused by an adult child, adult foster child, or adult grandchild, the provisions of this Part shall apply to any proceeding brought in district court.

Maine

Me. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 4002

"Abuse" means the occurrence of the following acts between family or household members or dating partners or by a family or household member or dating partner upon a minor child of a family or household member or dating partner:

A. Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact, including sexual assaults under Title 17-A, chapter 11, except that contact as described in Title 17-A, section 106, subsection 1 is excluded from this definition;

B. Attempting to place or placing another in fear of bodily injury through any course of conduct, including, but not limited to, threatening, harassing or tormenting behavior; C. Compelling a person by force, threat of force or intimidation to engage in conduct from which the person has a right or privilege to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;

D. Knowingly restricting substantially the movements of another person without that person's consent or other lawful authority by:

(1) Removing that person from that person's residence, place of business or school;

(2) Moving that person a substantial distance from the vicinity where that person was found; or

(3) Confining that person for a substantial period either in the place where the restriction commences or in a place to which that person has been moved;

E. Communicating to a person a threat to commit, or to cause to be committed, a crime of violence dangerous to human life against the person to whom the communication is made or another, and the natural and probable consequence of the threat, whether or not that consequence in fact occurs, is to place the person to whom the threat is communicated, or the person against whom the threat is made, in reasonable fear that the crime will be committed; or

F. Repeatedly and without reasonable cause:

(1) Following the plaintiff; or

(2) Being at or in the vicinity of the plaintiff's home, school, business or place of employment.

G. Engaging in the unauthorized dissemination of certain private images as prohibited pursuant to Title 17-A, section 511-A.

<Text for subsec. 1, par. G as amended by Laws 2015, c. 443, § 10.>

G. Engaging in aggravated sex trafficking or sex trafficking as described in Title 17-A, section 852 or 853, respectively.

3-A. Dating partners.   "Dating partners" means individuals currently or formerly involved in dating each other, whether or not the individuals are or were sexual partners.

4. Family or household members.  "Family or household members" means spouses or domestic partners or former spouses or former domestic partners, individuals presently or formerly living together as spouses, natural parents of the same child, adult household members related by consanguinity or affinity or minor children of a household member when the defendant is an adult household member and, for the purposes of Title 15, section 1023, subsection 4, paragraph B-1 and Title 15, section 1094-B, this chapter and Title 17-A, sections 15, 207-A, 209-A, 210-B, 210-C, 211-A, 1201, 1202 and 1253 only, includes individuals presently or formerly living together and individuals who are or were sexual partners. Holding oneself out to be a spouse is not necessary to constitute "living as spouses." For purposes of this subsection, "domestic partners" means 2 unmarried adults who are domiciled together under long-term arrangements that evidence a commitment to remain responsible indefinitely for each other's welfare.

Maryland

Md. Family Code § 4-501

(1) "Abuse" means any of the following acts:
(i) an act that causes serious bodily harm;
(ii) an act that places a person eligible for relief in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;
(iii) assault in any degree;
(iv) rape or sexual offense under §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;
(v) false imprisonment; or
(vi) stalking under § 3-802 of the Criminal Law Article.
(2) If the person for whom relief is sought is a child, "abuse" may also include abuse of a child, as defined in Title 5, Subtitle 7 of this article. Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to prohibit reasonable punishment, including reasonable corporal punishment, in light of the age and condition of the child, from being performed by a parent or stepparent of the child.
(3) If the person for whom relief is sought is a vulnerable adult, "abuse" may also include abuse of a vulnerable adult, as defined in Title 14, Subtitle 1 of this article.

(d) “Cohabitant” means a person who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent and resided with the respondent in the home for a period of at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition.

"Person eligible for relief" includes:
(1) the current or former spouse of the respondent;
(2) a cohabitant of the respondent;
(3) a person related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption;
(4) a parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent or the person eligible for relief who resides or resided with the respondent or person eligible for relief for at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition;
(5) a vulnerable adult; or
(6) an individual who has a child in common with the respondent.

Massachusetts

Mass. Stat. § 209A, §1

“Abuse”, the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

(a) attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

(b) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm;

(c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.

“Family or household members”, persons who:

(a) are or were married to one another;

(b) are or were residing together in the same household;

(c) are or were related by blood or marriage;

(d) having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together;

(e) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by district, probate or Boston municipal courts consideration of the following factors:

(1) the length of time of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; (3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.

Michigan

Mich. Stat. § 750.81

 (2) Except as provided in subsection (3), (4), or (5), an individual who assaults or assaults and batters his or her spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

(3) An individual who assaults or assaults and batters an individual who is pregnant and who knows the individual is pregnant is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

(4) An individual who commits an assault or an assault and battery in violation of subsection (2) or (3), and who has previously been convicted of assaulting or assaulting and battering an individual described in either subsection (2) or subsection (3) under any of the following, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both:

(5) An individual who commits an assault or an assault and battery in violation of subsection (2) or (3), and who has 2 or more previous convictions for assaulting or assaulting and battering an individual described in either subsection (2) or subsection (3) under any of the following, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both:

(6) As used in this section, "dating relationship" means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. This term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in a business or social context.

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 518B.01

(a) "Domestic abuse" means the following, if committed against a family or household member by a family or household member:

(1) physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;

(2) the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or

(3) terroristic threats, within the meaning of section 609.713, subdivision 1; criminal sexual conduct, within the meaning of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, or 609.3451; or interference with an emergency call within the meaning of section 609.78, subdivision 2.

(b) "Family or household members" means:

(1) spouses and former spouses;

(2) parents and children;

(3) persons related by blood;

(4) persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;

(5) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;

(6) a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and

(7) persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. § 93-21-3

(a) "Abuse" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between spouses, former spouses, persons living as spouses or who formerly lived as spouses, persons having a child or children in common, other individuals related by consanguinity or affinity who reside together or who formerly resided together or between individuals who have a current or former dating relationship:
(i) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury or serious bodily injury with or without a deadly weapon;
 (ii) Placing, by physical menace or threat, another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
(iii) Criminal sexual conduct committed against a minor within the meaning of Section 97-5-23;
(iv) Stalking within the meaning of Section 97-3-107;
(v) Cyberstalking within the meaning of Section 97-45-15;
(vi) Sexual offenses within the meaning of Section 97-3-65 or 97-3-95.

"Abuse" does not include any act of self-defense.

  (d) "Dating relationship" means a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature between two (2) individuals; it does not include a casual relationship or ordinary fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context. Whether a relationship is a "dating relationship" shall be determined by examining the following factors:
(i) The length of the relationship;
(ii) The type of relationship; and
(iii) The frequency of interaction between the two (2) individuals involved in the relationship.

Missouri

Mo. Stat. § 455.010

(1) "Abuse" includes but is not limited to the occurrence of any of the following acts, attempts or threats against a person who may be protected pursuant to this chapter, except abuse shall not include abuse inflicted on a child by accidental means by an adult household member or discipline of a child, including spanking, in a reasonable manner:

(a) "Assault", purposely or knowingly placing or attempting to place another in fear of physical harm;

(b) "Battery", purposely or knowingly causing physical harm to another with or without a deadly weapon;

(c) "Coercion", compelling another by force or threat of force to engage in conduct from which the latter has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;

(d) "Harassment", engaging in a purposeful or knowing course of conduct involving more than one incident that alarms or causes distress to an adult or child and serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable adult or child to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the petitioner or child. Such conduct might include, but is not limited to:

a. Following another about in a public place or places;

b. Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of another; but does not include constitutionally protected activity;

(e) "Sexual assault", causing or attempting to cause another to engage involuntarily in any sexual act by force, threat of force, or duress;

(f) "Unlawful imprisonment", holding, confining, detaining or abducting another person against that person's will;

(5) Domestic violence”, abuse or stalking committed by a family or household member, as such terms are defined in this section;

(7) "Family" or "household member", spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time;

Montana

Mont. Code § 45-5-206

(1) A person commits the offense of partner or family member assault if the person:
     (a) purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to a partner or family member;
     (b) negligently causes bodily injury to a partner or family member with a weapon; or
     (c) purposely or knowingly causes reasonable apprehension of bodily injury in a partner or family member.

 (2) For the purposes of Title 40, chapter 15, 45-5-231 through 45-5-234, 46-6-311, and this section, the following definitions apply:
     (a) "Family member" means mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, and other past or present family members of a household. These relationships include relationships created by adoption and remarriage, including stepchildren, stepparents, in-laws, and adoptive children and parents. These relationships continue regardless of the ages of the parties and whether the parties reside in the same household.
     (b) "Partners" means spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common, and persons who have been or are currently in a dating or ongoing intimate relationship.

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-323

(1) A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the third degree if he or she:

(a) Intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to his or her intimate partner;

(b) Threatens an intimate partner with imminent bodily injury; or

(c) Threatens an intimate partner in a menacing manner.

(2) A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the second degree if he or she intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to his or her intimate partner with a dangerous instrument.

(3) A person commits the offense of domestic assault in the first degree if he or she intentionally and knowingly causes serious bodily injury to his or her intimate partner.

(4) Violation of subdivision (1)(a) or (b) of this section is a Class I misdemeanor, except that for any subsequent violation of subdivision (1)(a) or (b) of this section, any person so offending is guilty of a Class IV felony.

(5) Violation of subdivision (1)(c) of this section is a Class I misdemeanor.

(6) Violation of subsection (2) of this section is a Class IIIA felony, except that for any second or subsequent violation of such subsection, any person so offending is guilty of a Class III felony.

(7) Violation of subsection (3) of this section is a Class III felony, except that for any second or subsequent violation under such subsection, any person so offending is guilty of a Class II felony.

(8) For purposes of this section, intimate partner means a spouse; a former spouse; persons who have a child in common whether or not they have been married or lived together at any time; and persons who are or were involved in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subsection, dating relationship means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement, but does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 33.018

1. Domestic violence occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon the person’s spouse or former spouse, any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any other person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child:

(a) A battery.

(b) An assault.

(c) Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform.

(d) A sexual assault.

(e) A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to:

(1) Stalking.

(2) Arson.

(3) Trespassing.

(4) Larceny.

(5) Destruction of private property.

(6) Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

(7) Injuring or killing an animal.

(f) A false imprisonment.

(g) Unlawful entry of the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.

The person’s spouse or former spouse, any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any other person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child

2. As used in this section, “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional or sexual involvement. The term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.

New Hampshire

N.H. Stat. § 173-B:1

I. "Abuse'' means the commission or attempted commission of one or more of the acts described in subparagraphs (a) through (h) by a family or household member or by a current or former sexual or intimate partner, where such conduct is determined to constitute a credible present threat to the petitioner's safety. The court may consider evidence of such acts, regardless of their proximity in time to the filing of the petition, which, in combination with recent conduct, reflects an ongoing pattern of behavior which reasonably causes or has caused the petitioner to fear for his or her safety or well-being:
(a) Assault or reckless conduct as defined in RSA 631:1 through RSA 631:3.
(b) Criminal threatening as defined in RSA 631:4.
(c) Sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2 through RSA 632-A:5.
(d) Interference with freedom as defined in RSA 633:1 through RSA 633:3-a.
(e) Destruction of property as defined in RSA 634:1 and RSA 634:2.
(f) Unauthorized entry as defined in RSA 635:1 and RSA 635:2.
(g) Harassment as defined in RSA 644:4.
(h) Cruelty to animals as defined in RSA 644:8.

X. "Family or household member'' means:
(a) Spouses, ex-spouses, persons cohabiting with each other, and persons who cohabited with each other but who no longer share the same residence.
 (b) Parents and other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, other than minor children who reside with the defendant.

XV.

"Intimate partners'' means persons currently or formerly involved in a romantic relationship, whether or not such relationship was ever sexually consummated.

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. § 2C:25-19

a.   "Domestic violence" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts inflicted upon a person protected under this act by an adult or an emancipated minor: 
   (1)  Homicide    N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq.
   (2)  Assault    N.J.S.2C:12-1
   (3)  Terroristic threats  N.J.S.2C:12-3
   (4)  Kidnapping    N.J.S.2C:13-1
   (5)  Criminal restraint  N.J.S.2C:13-2
   (6)  False imprisonment  N.J.S.2C:13-3
   (7)  Sexual assault   N.J.S.2C:14-2
   (8)  Criminal sexual contact  N.J.S.2C:14-3
   (9)  Lewdness    N.J.S.2C:14-4
   (10) Criminal mischief  N.J.S.2C:17-3
   (11) Burglary    N.J.S.2C:18-2
   (12) Criminal trespass  N.J.S.2C:18-3
   (13) Harassment    N.J.S.2C:33-4
   (14) Stalking    P.L.1992, c.209 (C.2C:12-10)
   When one or more of these acts is inflicted by an unemancipated minor upon a person protected under this act, the occurrence shall not constitute "domestic violence," but may be the basis for the filing of a petition or complaint pursuant to the provisions of section 11 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-30). 

d.   "Victim of domestic violence" means a person protected under this act and shall include any person who is 18 years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor and who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member. "Victim of domestic violence" also includes any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has a child in common, or with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant.  "Victim of domestic violence" also includes any person who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship. 

   e.   "Emancipated minor" means a person who is under 18 years of age but who has been married, has entered military service, has a child or is pregnant or has been previously declared by a court or an administrative agency to be emancipated. 

New Mexico

N.M. Stat. § 40-13-2

D.   "domestic abuse":

(1)   means an incident of stalking or sexual assault whether committed by a household member or not;

(2)   means an incident by a household member against another household member consisting of or resulting in:

(a)   physical harm;

(b)   severe emotional distress;

(c)   bodily injury or assault;

(d)   a threat causing imminent fear of bodily injury by any household member;

(e)   criminal trespass;

(f)   criminal damage to property;

(g)   repeatedly driving by a residence or work place;

(h)   telephone harassment;

(i)   harassment; or

(j)   harm or threatened harm to children as set forth in this paragraph; and

(3)   does not mean the use of force in self-defense or the defense of another;

E.   "household member" means a spouse, former spouse, parent, present or former stepparent, present or former parent in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, child, stepchild, grandchild, co-parent of a child or a person with whom the petitioner has had a continuing personal relationship.  Cohabitation is not necessary to be deemed a household member for purposes of this section;

A. “continuing personal relationship” means a dating or intimate relationship;

B. “co-parents” means persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;

New York

N.Y. Fam. Ct. § 812

The  family  court  and  the  criminal  courts  shall  have   concurrent  jurisdiction  over any proceeding concerning acts which would constitute disorderly conduct, harassment in the first degree,  harassment  in  the second  degree,  aggravated  harassment  in  the  second  degree, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse in the third degree,  sexual abuse  in  the  second degree as set forth in subdivision one of section 130.60 of the penal law, stalking in the first degree, stalking  in  the second  degree,  stalking  in  the  third degree, stalking in the fourth degree, criminal mischief, menacing in the second degree,  menacing  in the   third  degree,  reckless  endangerment,  criminal obstruction  of breathing or blood circulation,  strangulation  in  the second  degree, strangulation in the first degree, assault in the second degree, assault in  the  third degree, an attempted assault, identity theft in the first degree, identity theft in the second degree, identity theft in the third degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in  the  third degree  or  coercion  in  the second degree as set forth in subdivisions one, two and three of section 135.60 of the penal law between spouses or former spouses, or between parent and child or between members  of  the  same  family  or  household  except  that if the respondent would not be criminally responsible by reason of age pursuant to section 30.00 of the penal law, then the family court shall have exclusive jurisdiction  over  such  proceeding.

"members of the same family or household" shall mean

  the following:

    (a) persons related by consanguinity or affinity;

    (b) persons legally married to one another;

    (c) persons formerly married to one another regardless of whether they still reside in the same household;

    (d) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether such persons have been married or have lived together at any time; and

    (e)  persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time. Factors the court may consider in determining whether a relationship is an "intimate relationship" include but are not limited to: the nature or type of relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature; the frequency of interaction between the persons; and the duration of the relationship. Neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute an "intimate relationship".

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50B-1

(a) Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense:

(1) Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; or

(2) Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party's family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or

(3) Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.2 through G.S. 14-27.7.

(b) For purposes of this section, the term "personal relationship" means a relationship wherein the parties involved:

(1) Are current or former spouses;

(2) Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;

(3) Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;

(4) Have a child in common;

(5) Are current or former household members;

(6) Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 14-07.1-01

"Domestic violence" includes physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity compelled by physical force, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity compelled by physical force, or assault, not committed in self-defense, on the complaining family or household members.

"Family or household member" means a spouse, family member, former spouse, parent, child, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are in a dating relationship, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time, and, for the purpose of the issuance of a domestic violence protection order, any other person with a sufficient relationship to the abusing person as determined by the court under section 14-07.1-02

Ohio

Ohio Stat. § 3113.31

(1) "Domestic violence" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts against a family or household member:

(a) Attempting to cause or recklessly causing bodily injury;

(b) Placing another person by the threat of force in fear of imminent serious physical harm or committing a violation of section 2903.211 or 2911.211 of the Revised Code;

(c) Committing any act with respect to a child that would result in the child being an abused child, as defined in section 2151.031 of the Revised Code;

(d) Committing a sexually oriented offense.

(3) "Family or household member" means any of the following:

(a) Any of the following who is residing with or has resided with the respondent:

(i) A spouse, a person living as a spouse, or a former spouse of the respondent;

(ii) A parent, a foster parent, or a child of the respondent, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to the respondent;

(iii) A parent or a child of a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the respondent, or another person related by consanguinity or affinity to a spouse, person living as a spouse, or former spouse of the respondent.

(b) The natural parent of any child of whom the respondent is the other natural parent or is the putative other natural parent.

(4) “Person living as a spouse” means a person who is living or has lived with the respondent in a common law marital relationship, who otherwise is cohabiting with the respondent, or who otherwise has cohabited with the respondent within five years prior to the date of the alleged occurrence of the act in question.

 

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 60.1

1. “Domestic abuse” means any act of physical harm, or the threat of imminent physical harm which is committed by an adult, emancipated minor, or minor child thirteen (13) years of age or older against another adult, emancipated minor or minor child who are family or household members or who are or were in a dating relationship;

4. “Family or household members” means:

a. spouses,

b. ex-spouses,

c. present spouses of ex-spouses,

d. parents, including grandparents, stepparents, adoptive parents and foster parents,

e. children, including grandchildren, stepchildren, adopted children and foster children,

f. persons otherwise related by blood or marriage,

g. persons living in the same household or who formerly lived in the same household, and

h. persons who are the biological parents of the same child, regardless of their marital status, or whether they have lived together at any time. This shall include the elderly and handicapped;

5. “Dating relationship” means a courtship or engagement relationship. For purposes of this act, a casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context shall not constitute a dating relationship;

Oregon

Or. Stat. § 107.705

(1) “Abuse” means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

(a) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury.

(b) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury.

 (c) Causing another to engage in involuntary sexual relations by force or threat of force.

(3) “Family or household members” means any of the following:

(a) Spouses.

(b) Former spouses.

(c) Adult persons related by blood, marriage or adoption.

(d) Persons who are cohabiting or who have cohabited with each other.

(e) Persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship with each other within two years immediately preceding the filing by one of them of a petition under ORS 107.710.

(f) Unmarried parents of a child.

Pennsylvania

Penn. Cons. Stat. tit. 23, § 6102

"Abuse."  The occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood:

(1)  Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest with or without a deadly weapon.

(2)  Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

(3)  The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment).

(4)  Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including such terms as defined in Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services).

(5)  Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. The definition of this paragraph applies only to proceedings commenced under this title and is inapplicable to any criminal prosecutions commenced under Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses).

"Family or household members."  Spouses or persons who have been spouses, persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses, parents and children, other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood.

 

Victim.” A person who is physically or sexually abused by a family or household member. For purposes of section 6116 (relating to confidentiality), a victim is a person against whom abuse is committed who consults a domestic violence counselor or advocate for the purpose of securing advice, counseling or assistance. The term shall also include persons who have a significant relationship with the victim and who seek advice, counseling or assistance from a domestic violence counselor or advocate regarding abuse of the victim.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-15-1

  (2) "Domestic abuse" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between present or former family members, parents, stepparents, or persons who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year in which at least one of the persons is a minor:

   (i) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm;

   (ii) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; or

   (iii) Causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat of force, or duress.

   (iv) Stalking or cyberstalking.

  (3) "Parents" mean persons who together are the legal parents of one or more children, regardless of their marital status or whether they have lived together at any time.

   (4) "Present or former family member" means the spouse, former spouse, minor children, stepchildren, or persons who are related by blood or marriage.

   (5) "Substantive dating" or "engagement relationship" means a significant and personal/intimate relationship which shall be adjudged by the court's consideration by the following factors:

   (i) The length of time of the relationship;

   (ii) The type of relationship; and

   (iii) The frequency of interaction between the parties.

South Carolina

S.C. Code § 20-4-20

(a) “Abuse” means:

(1) physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the threat of physical harm;

(2) sexual criminal offenses, as otherwise defined by statute, committed against a family or household member by a family or household member.

(b) “Household member” means:

(i) a spouse;

(ii) a former spouse;

(iii) persons who have a child in common;

(iv) a male and female who are cohabiting or formerly have cohabited.

South Dakota

S.D. Codified Laws § 25-10-1

 

S.D. Codified Laws § 25-10-3.1

  (1)      "Domestic abuse," physical harm, bodily injury, or attempts to cause physical harm or bodily injury, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm or bodily injury when occurring between persons in a relationship described in § 25-10-3.1. Any violation of § 25-10-13 or chapter 22-19A or any crime of violence as defined in subdivision 22-1-2(9) constitutes domestic abuse if the underlying criminal act is committed between persons in such a relationship;

Persons entitled to apply for protection order. Any person who is involved in one of the following relationships with another party:

 (1) Spouse or former spouse;

 (2) Is in a significant romantic relationship;

 (3) Has a child or is expecting a child with the abusing party;

 (4) Parent and child, including a relationship by adoption, guardianship, or marriage; or

 (5) Siblings, whether of the whole or half blood, including a relationship through adoption or marriage;
is entitled to apply for a protection order or a temporary protection order pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

Tennessee

Tenn. Code § 36-3-601

  (1) "Abuse" means inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on an adult or minor by other than accidental means, placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm, physical restraint, malicious damage to the personal property of the abused party, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by an adult or minor, or placing an adult or minor in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the adult or minor;

4) “Domestic abuse” means committing abuse against a victim, as defined in subdivision (5);

 (5) "Domestic abuse victim" means any person who falls within the following categories:
(A) Adults or minors who are current or former spouses;
(B) Adults or minors who live together or who have lived together;

(C) Adults or minors who are dating or who have dated or who have or had a sexual relationship. As used herein, "dating" and "dated" do not include fraternization between two (2) individuals in a business or social context;
(D) Adults or minors related by blood or adoption;
(E) Adults or minors who are related or were formerly related by marriage; or
(F) Adult or minor children of a person in a relationship that is described in subdivisions (5)(A)-(E);

Texas

Tex. Fam. Code § 71.004

 

Tex. Fam. Code § 71.005

 

Tex. Fam. Code § 71.006

 

Tex. Fam. Code § 71.0021

"Family violence" means:

(1)  an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself;

(2)  abuse, as that term is defined by Sections 261.001(1)(C), (E), and (G), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or

(a) “Dating violence” means an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that:

(1) is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order:

(A) with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or

(B) because of the victim's or applicant's marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage; and

(2) is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the victim or applicant in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.

(b) For purposes of this title, “dating relationship” means a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of:

(1) the length of the relationship;

(2) the nature of the relationship; and

(3) the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

(c) A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a “dating relationship” under Subsection (b).

Sec. 71.005.  HOUSEHOLD.  "Household" means a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.

 

Sec. 71.006.  MEMBER OF A HOUSEHOLD.  "Member of a household" includes a person who previously lived in a household.

Utah

Utah Code § 78B-7-102

“Abuse" means intentionally or knowingly causing or attempting to cause a cohabitant physical harm or intentionally or knowingly placing a cohabitant in reasonable fear of imminent physical harm

(2) "Cohabitant" means an emancipated person pursuant to Section 15-2-1 or a person who is 16 years of age or older who:

(a) is or was a spouse of the other party;

(b) is or was living as if a spouse of the other party;

(c) is related by blood or marriage to the other party;

(d) has or had one or more children in common with the other party;

(e) is the biological parent of the other party's unborn child; or

(f) resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party.

(3) Notwithstanding Subsection (2), "cohabitant" does not include:

(a) the relationship of natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent to a minor; or

(b) the relationship between natural, adoptive, step, or foster siblings who are under 18 years of age.

Vermont

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 1101

(1) "Abuse" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

(A) Attempting to cause or causing physical harm.

(B) Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm.

(C) Abuse to children as defined in subchapter 2 of chapter 49 of Title 33.

(D) Stalking as defined in 12 V.S.A. § 5131(6).

(E) Sexual assault as defined in 12 V.S.A. § 5131(5).

(2) "Household members" means persons who, for any period of time, are living or have lived together, are sharing or have shared occupancy of a dwelling, are engaged in or have engaged in a sexual relationship, or minors or adults who are dating or who have dated. "Dating" means a social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors that the court may consider when determining whether a dating relationship exists or existed include:

(A) the nature of the relationship;

(B) the length of time the relationship has existed;

(C) the frequency of interaction between the parties;

(D) the length of time since the relationship was terminated, if applicable.

Virginia

Va. Code § 16.1-228

"Family abuse" means any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury and that is committed by a person against such person's family or household member. Such act includes, but is not limited to, any forceful detention, stalking, criminal sexual assault in violation of Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, or any criminal offense that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.

“Family or household member” means (i) the person's spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (ii) the person's former spouse, whether or not he or she resides in the same home with the person, (iii) the person's parents, stepparents, children, stepchildren, brothers, sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, regardless of whether such persons reside in the same home with the person, (iv) the person's mother-in-law, father-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who reside in the same home with the person, (v) any individual who has a child in common with the person, whether or not the person and that individual have been married or have resided together at any time, or (vi) any individual who cohabits or who, within the previous 12 months, cohabited with the person, and any children of either of them then residing in the same home with the person.

Washington

Wash. Stat. 10.99.020

(5) “Domestic violence” includes but is not limited to any of the following crimes when committed either by (a) one family or household member against another family or household member, or (b) one intimate partner against another intimate partner:

(i) Assault in the first degree (RCW 9A.36.011);

(ii) Assault in the second degree (RCW 9A.36.021);

(iii) Assault in the third degree (RCW 9A.36.031);

(iv) Assault in the fourth degree (RCW 9A.36.041);

(v) Drive-by shooting (RCW 9A.36.045);

(vi) Reckless endangerment (RCW 9A.36.050);

(vii) Coercion (RCW 9A.36.070);

(viii) Burglary in the first degree (RCW 9A.52.020);

(ix) Burglary in the second degree (RCW 9A.52.030);

(x) Criminal trespass in the first degree (RCW 9A.52.070);

(xi) Criminal trespass in the second degree (RCW 9A.52.080);

(xii) Malicious mischief in the first degree (RCW 9A.48.070);

(xiii) Malicious mischief in the second degree (RCW 9A.48.080);

(xiv) Malicious mischief in the third degree (RCW 9A.48.090);

(xv) Kidnapping in the first degree (RCW 9A.40.020);

(xvi) Kidnapping in the second degree (RCW 9A.40.030);

(xvii) Unlawful imprisonment (RCW 9A.40.040);

(xviii) Violation of the provisions of a restraining order, no-contact order, or protection order restraining or enjoining the person or restraining the person from going onto the grounds of or entering a residence, workplace, school, or day care, or prohibiting the person from knowingly coming within, or knowingly remaining within, a specified distance of a location (RCW 10.99.040, 10.99.050, 26.09.300, 26.10.220,  26.26B.050, 26.44.063, 26.44.150, 26.50.060, 26.50.070, 26.50.130, 26.52.070, or 74.34.145);

(xix) Rape in the first degree (RCW 9A.44.040);

(xx) Rape in the second degree (RCW 9A.44.050);

(xxi) Residential burglary (RCW 9A.52.025);

(xxii) Stalking (RCW 9A.46.110); and

(xxiii) Interference with the reporting of domestic violence (RCW 9A.36.150).

   (3) "Family or household members" means spouses, former spouses, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons sixteen years of age or older who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and who have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.
(2) “Dating relationship” means a social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors that the court may consider in making this determination include: (a) The length of time the relationship has existed; (b) the nature of the relationship; and (c) the frequency of interaction between the parties.

West Virginia

W.V. Code § 48-27-202

 

W.V. Stat. § 48-27-204

"Domestic violence" or "abuse" means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members, as that term is defined in section two hundred four of this article:

(1) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical harm to another with or without dangerous or deadly weapons;

(2) Placing another in reasonable apprehension of physical harm;

(3) Creating fear of physical harm by harassment, stalking, psychological abuse or threatening acts;

(4) Committing either sexual assault or sexual abuse as those terms are defined in articles eight-b and eight-d, chapter sixty-one of this code; and

(5) Holding, confining, detaining or abducting another person against that person's will.

"Family or household members" means persons who:

(1) Are or were married to each other;

(2) Are or were living together as spouses;

(3) Are or were sexual or intimate partners;

(4) Are or were dating: Provided, That a casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context does not establish a dating relationship;

(5) Are or were residing together in the same household;

(6) Have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together;

(7) Have the following relationships to another person:

(A) Parent;

(B) Stepparent;

(C) Brother or sister;

(D) Half-brother or half-sister;

(E) Stepbrother or stepsister;

(F) Father-in-law or mother-in-law;

(G) Stepfather-in-law or stepmother-in-law;

(H) Child or stepchild;

(I) Daughter-in-law or son-in-law;

(J) Stepdaughter-in-law or stepson-in-law;

(K) Grandparent;

(L) Step grandparent;

(M) Aunt, aunt-in-law or step aunt;

(N) Uncle, uncle-in-law or step uncle;

(O) Niece or nephew;

(P) First or second cousin; or

(8) Have the relationships set forth in paragraphs (A) through (P), subdivision (7) of this section to a family or household member, as defined in subdivisions (1) through (6) of this section.

Wisconsin

 Wis. Stat. § 968.075

(a) "Domestic abuse" means any of the following engaged in by an adult person against his or her spouse or former spouse, against an adult with whom the person resides or formerly resided or against an adult with whom the person has a child in common:

1. Intentional infliction of physical pain, physical injury or illness.

2. Intentional impairment of physical condition.

3. A violation of s. 940.225 (1), (2) or (3).

4. A physical act that may cause the other person reasonably to fear imminent engagement in the conduct described under subd. 1., 2. or 3.

Spouse or former spouse, against an adult with whom the person resides or formerly resided or against an adult with whom the person has a child in common

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. 35-21-102

(iii) "Domestic abuse" means the occurrence of one (1) or more of the following acts by a household member but does not include acts of self-defense:

(A) Physically abusing, threatening to physically abuse, attempting to cause or causing physical harm or acts which unreasonably restrain the personal liberty of any household member;

(B) Placing a household member in reasonable fear of imminent physical harm; or

(C) Causing a household member to engage involuntarily in sexual activity by force, threat of force or duress.

(iv) "Household member" includes:

(A) Persons married to each other;

(B) Persons living with each other as if married;

(C) Persons formerly married to each other;

(D) Persons formerly living with each other as if married;

(E) Parents and their adult children;

(F) Other adults sharing common living quarters;

(G) Persons who are the parents of a child but who are not living with each other; and

(H) Persons who are in, or have been in, a dating relationship.

Additional Resources

About This NCSL Project

NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support policy, financing, laws, research and promising practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legislature that would like training or assistance related to this topic.

The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the Administration. Staff in D.C. can be reached at (202) 624-5400 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.