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July 20, 2015 | External Resource, Report

State Statutes: Definitions of Domestic Violence


Child Welfare Information Gateway

Publication Date:

January 2021

This publication provides an overview of both civil and criminal definitions of domestic violence. The definition often varies depending on the context in which the term is used. Statutory definitions across the States generally describe specific conduct or acts that are subject to civil and criminal actions, and the specific language used may vary depending on whether the definition is found in the civil or criminal sections of the State’s code. This publication presents a general overview of this aspect of child welfare law. Summaries of laws on this topic for all individual States and U.S. territories are available from the Statutes Search page.

To access the statutes for a specific State or territory, visit the State Statutes Search.