What is Domestic Violence

Social Definition: Abuse of Power and Control

  • The use of physical, sexual and emotional force by the batterer to frighten, intimidate and control the victim

Legal Definition: Harm plus Relationship

  • Assault (physical harm)
  • Threat of Assault (physical harm)
  • Child Abuse or Child Endangerment
  • Related by blood or marriage to victim AND live/d together
  • Unmarried partners who are/have "cohabited" within the last 5 years
  • Partners who have a child together

Remedies for Domestic Violence

Criminal Charges
  1. Call police
  2. Charges filed
  3. TPO issued while case is pending – ends when case ends
  4. Prosecutor presents the case, victim is the witness
  5. If DV is proven, batterer is convicted
  6. If convicted, punishments can be: jail, fine, counseling (AMEND), probation
  7. If the assault is serious or a second offense, case can be charged as a felony.  Goes to grand jury first.  Punishments are stiffer.
Civil Protection Order - Domestic Relations Court
  1. No criminal charges are necessary
  2. File petition at Domestic Relations Court, 800 Broadway, 2nd Floor
  3. Immediate, one-sided hearing; leave with a CPO
  4. Second hearing in 10 days – abuser tells his/her side
  5. If petitioner is believed, CPO made good for up to 5 years
  6. CPO can grant:  custody, child support, car keys, stay-away
  7. If divorce filed, new orders of custody and child support will be made