Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance uses
the following definition of domestic violence:
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive
by one individual intended to exert
power and control over
another individual in the context of an intimate
or family relationship.
pattern: Domestic violence involves more than one or even
several isolated incidents of violence. It involves an interrelated
pattern that includes a wide variety of abusive behaviors and
usually increases in frequency and intensity over time.
abusive behaviors: Abusive or coercive behaviors may include,
but are not limited to, physical assaults, verbal assaults,
threats, intimidation, use of weapons, destruction of property,
violence toward other significant people or pets, sexual manipulation,
and control over economic resources.
intended to exert power
and control: The pattern of behaviors
is not a matter of coincidence or the result of a time-limited
crisis. Rather, it is an ongoing pattern in the relationship
whereby the abuser acts to control the other person.
intimate or family
relationship: a relationship between two
adults intended to provide emotional and physical intimacy
The Code of Virginia Section 16.1-228 states…
“Family abuse” means any act involving violence,
force, or threat including, but not limited to any forceful
detention, which results in bodily injury or places one in
reasonable apprehension of bodily injury and which is committed
by a person against such person’s family or household
"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.
For more information E-mail Info@vsdvalliance.org. E-mail is not a secure form of communication. To ensure confidentiality please call the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.838.8238 (V/TTY).