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Defining Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence?

Heidi Ann Lepp’s Answer:

Domestic violence is the occurrence of one or more of an enumerated list of criminal acts inflicted upon a victim by an adult or emancipated minor. This violence can take the form of physical, sexual or verbal abuse. There are many criminal acts that qualify as predicate acts of domestic violence. Examples of some such acts are assault, terroristic threats, trespass, harassment and stalking.

A victim is defined as a 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, a person with whom the victim had a dating relationship or any other person who is a present or former household member. A victim can also include a person, regardless of age, who has a child in common with the abuser or who anticipates having a child in common with the abuser if one of the parties is pregnant.

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