Virginia has a legal definition of domestic violence that varies somewhat from other states, even though there are some overlapping commonalities. If you or someone you know is a victim, it helps to know what constitutes an act of domestic violence. It gives you an idea of whether you can pursue assault and/or battery charges
Normally when you think of domestic violence, the first thought you may have is abuse between spouses. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court identifies other common types of domestic violence that extends to other relationships. This includes people related to you by blood, such as parents, grandparents and siblings. Family members related to you by marriage are also included, such as a mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Virginia law also recognizes ex-spouses.
Virginia law also takes into account the conditions under which the acts of violence take place. The law includes family members and household members. However, an act of domestic violence is not limited to your household. The law considers you a victim of domestic violence whether an abuser lives with you or not. It also includes a spouse whom you may or may not have children with.
There are several types of abusive acts that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. In the broad sense, it is an act of violence or force that results in bodily injury, sexual assault or death. Other specific domestic abuses, which are also known as family abuse acts, include stalking and forceful detention.
This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.