Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence in the United States

US Domestic Violence Survivors Confidentiality Resources

Nineteen states have statutes authorizing address confidentiality programs. Washington was the first state to create a program in 1991.  The programs are similar in most of the states. The agency operating the program can vary. Some states run their address confidentiality programs through their Attorney General’s office while others place it in the Secretary of State’s office.

Survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault apply for the program.  The state entity running the program assigns them a “dummy” address or an address at the state office.  The entity then forwards mail to the program participant’s actual physical address.  Most states with address confidentiality programs have created procedures to address court summonses, service of process, and other official mail.  They also have provisions for confidentiality of the information, including voter registration.  In most states, program participants vote by absentee ballot.  Their addresses are exempt from publication with state voter registry records.

State (year of implementation) and Statute:

  • Arkansas (2005) Ark. Stat. Ann. 27-16-810
  • California (1998) Cal. Govt. Code §6206
  • Connecticut (2004) –
  • Florida (1998) F.S.A. §741.403
  • Illinois (1999) (no funding) 750 ILCS 61/
  • Indiana (2001) IC §5-26.5-2
  • Maine (2002) 5 M.S.R.A. §90-B
  • Massachusetts (2001) M.G.L.A. 9A §2
  • Nebraska (2003) Neb. Rev. Stat. §42-1201 through 42-1210
  • Nevada (1997) N.R.S. §217.462
  • New Hampshire (2001) N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §7:43
  • New Jersey (1998) N.J. Stat. Ann. §47:4-4
  • North Carolina (2002) N.C. Gen. Stat. §15C-1
  • Oklahoma (2002) 22 Okla. Stat. Ann. §60.14
  • Oregon (2006) 2005 Or. Laws, Chap. 821 (SB 850)
  • Pennsylvania (2005) 2004 Pa. Laws, Act 188
  • Rhode Island (1999) R.I. Gen Laws §17-28-3
  • Vermont (2000) 15 VSA §1152
  • Washington (1991) RCW §40.24.030

Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence: an Overview

This section examines this type of action. This subject identifies the various elements of the Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence, offering a practical approach to the litigation issues of this cause of action. See also the entry about legal risks.

The United States Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic violence offenses covers legal grounds for charging defendants with the crime in the United States, information for victims, penalties and sentences for offenders in the United States, and related topics. An Overview of the United States domestic violence laws can include crimes such as assault, stalking, menacing, sexual misconduct or abuse, and strangulation and cross references to related information. Victims of domestic violence may bring civil charges in family court, criminal charges in criminal court, or simultaneous actions in both courts.
Awards, States News Service; April 15, 2013

Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence: an Overview

This section examines this type of action. This subject identifies the various elements of the Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence, offering a practical approach to the litigation issues of this cause of action. See also the entry about legal risks.

Domestic Violence, Sexual Behaviour and the Law


Latinos Domestic Violence in relation to Crime and Race

Latinos Domestic Violence is included in the Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (1), beginning with: Domestic violence is an issue that affects many people not only in the United States but worldwide. Numerous victims and their children experience this situation in isolation and fear. The cycle of domestic violence includes emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in the context of an intimate relationship. Although this cycle may be similar in different populations, the way in which power and control is exerted may be different based on ethnic group membership and what it represents to be part of that specific culture. This section focuses on how domestic violence is experienced in the Latina/o population and how concurrent oppressions contribute to perpetuating this problem. Relationships where domestic violence is present may be similar in diverse populations. There is a relationship of abuse when one person has power and control over the other. It is in this realm that the victim and the perpetrator are identified.

Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence: an Overview

This section examines this type of action. This subject identifies the various elements of the Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence, offering a practical approach to the litigation issues of this cause of action. See also the entry about legal risks.

Domestic Violence is included in the Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (2), beginning with: Countless numbers of people have been affected by domestic violence at the hands of spouses, intimate partners, and boyfriends or girlfriends. This violence causes physical and emotional harm, costs billions of dollars in medical care and lost wages, and sets the stage for future domestic violence. People of all races are affected by domestic violence, making it a salient public issue. This section defines domestic violence, discusses factors contributing to domestic violence, examines the characteristics of victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, and considers racial differences in the experience of domestic violence. Domestic violence can be defined as behaviors exhibited by one person, called a batterer or an abuser, which are used to control or manipulate a spouse, partner, boyfriend, or girlfriend. These behaviors can be physical (hitting, kicking, choking, etc.) or they can be mental, psychological, and emotional (name-calling, put-downs, threats, stalking, etc.).

Native Americans Domestic Violence in relation to Crime and Race

Native Americans Domestic Violence is included in the Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (3), beginning with: Domestic violence, defined as harmful verbal, physical, or sexual abuse committed by one intimate against another, is a widespread and unfortunate problem encountered across virtually every society. Historically, domestic violence was viewed as a private matter. However, in the 1970s the public, as well as policymakers and other professionals, began to define this matter as a serious social and legal health problem that needed to be addressed. Still, it was not until the 1980s and 1990s that criminal justice and community agencies began to respond to the matter through practices, programs, and legislation. Furthermore, it was not until this past decade that researchers began to explore different variables, such as race/ethnicity, in studying domestic violence. This section examines domestic violence victimization of Native Americans/American Indians (NAAIs) as well as NAAI culture, risk factors, and consequences related to victimization.

Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence: an Overview

This section examines this type of action. This subject identifies the various elements of the Cause of Action Against Police for Failure to Protect Victim of Domestic Violence, offering a practical approach to the litigation issues of this cause of action. See also the entry about legal risks.

Domestic Violence in the Criminal Justice System

Domestic Violence in Labor Law

According to, Domestic Violence is defined as: An act that includes but is not limited to violence which occurs when a person commits one of the following acts against or upon the person’s spouse or former spouse, any other person to whom the person is related by blood or marriage, any other person with whom the person is or was actually residing, any other person with whom the person has had or is having a dating relationship, any other person with whom the person has a child in common, the minor child of any of those persons, the person’s minor child or any other person who has been appointed the custodian or legal guardian for the person’s minor child:

  • A battery.
  • An assault.
  • Compelling the other person by force or threat of force to perform an act from which the other person has the right to refrain or to refrain from an act which the other person has the right to perform.
  • A sexual assault.
  • A false imprisonment.
  • A knowing, purposeful or reckless course of conduct intended to harass the other person.

In this last case, such conduct may include, but is not limited to:

  • Stalking.
  • Arson.
  • Trespassing.
  • Larceny.
  • Destruction of private property.
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
  • Injuring or killing an animal.

Unlawful entry of the other person’s residence, or forcible entry against the other person’s will if there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of harm to the other person from the entry.


Notes and References

  1. Entry about Domestic Violence in the Encyclopedia of Race and Crime
  2. Id.
  3. Id.

See Also

  • Family Abuse
  • Homicide
  • Self-Defense
  • Evidence
  • Stalking
  • Victims
  • Violence
  • Child Abuse
  • Civil Rights
  • Liberties
  • Common Law
  • Marriage
  • Rape
  • Slavery
  • Violence
  • Women’s Rights Movement
  • Family Law
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Antisocial Behavior
  • Gun Control

Further Reading

Further Reading (Books)

Asmus, Mary; Ritmeester, Tineke; and Pence, Ellen. “Prosecuting Domestic Abuse Cases in Duluth: Developing Effective Prosecution Strategies from Understanding the Dynamics of Abusive Relationships.” Hamline Law Review 15 (1991): 115-158.

Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence. Final Report, U.S. Department of Justice.

Bachman, Ronet, and Salzman, Linda E. “Violence against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey (NCJ-154348).” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 1995.

Binder, Arnold, and Meeker, James W. “Implications of the Failure to Replicate the Minneapolis Experiment Findings.” American Sociological Review 57 (1993): 698-708.

Buzawa, Eve S., and Buzawa, Carl G. Domestic Violence: The Changing Criminal Justice Response. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1992.

–. Domestic Violence: The Criminal Justice System Response. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1996.

–. Do Arrests and Restraining Orders Work? Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1992.

Daly, Martin, and Wilson, Margo. Homicide. Aldine de Gruyter, 1988.

Dutton, Donald G., with Golant, Susan K. The Batterer: A Psychological Profile. New York: Basic Books, 1995.

Edelson, Jeffrey L. Intervention for Men Who Batter: An Ecological Approach. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1992.

Fagan, Jeffrey. “The Criminalization of Domestic Violence: Promises and Limits.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 1996.

Ferraro, Kathleen J., and Boychuck, Tascha. “The Court’s Response to Interpersonal Violence: A Comparison of Intimate and Nonintimate Assault.” In Domestic Violence: The Changing Criminal Justice Response. Edited by Eve S. Buzawa and Carl G. Buzawa. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1992. Pages 209ff.

Fineman, Martha, and Mykitiuk, Roxanne, eds. The Public Nature of Private Violence. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Gelles, Richard, and Loseke, Donileen R., eds. Current Controversies on Family Violence. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1992.

Goldfarb, Sally. “Describing Without Circumscribing: Questioning the Construct of Gender in the Discourse of Intimate Violence.” George Washington Law Review U.S. Department of Justice. 64 (1996): 582-631.

Gondolf, Edward W. “Who Are Those Guys? Toward a Behavioral Typology of Batterers.” Violence & Victims 3 (1980): 187.

–. “An Exploratory Survey of Court-Mandated Batterer Programs, Responses to Victimization.” Women & Children 13 (1990): 7.

Greenfeld, Lawrence, et al. “Violence By Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes By Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends.” Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998.

Hanna, Cheryl. “No Right to Choose: Mandated Victim Participation in Domestic Violence Prosecutions.” Harvard Law Review 109 (1996): 1849-1910.

–. “The Paradox of Hope: The Crime and Punishment of Domestic Violence.” William & Mary Law Review 39 (1998): 1505-1584.

Healy, Kerry; Smith, Kristen; and O’Sullivan, Chris. Batterer Intervention: Program Approaches and Criminal Justice Strategies (NCJ 168638). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, 1998.

Hilton, N. Zoe, ed. Legal Responses to Wife Assault. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1993.

Holzworth-Munroe, Amy, and Stuart, Gregory L. “Typology of Male Batterers: Three Subtypes and the Differences Among Them.” Psychological Bulletin 116 (1994): 476-497.

Justice Research and Statistics Association. Domestic and Sexual Violence Data Collection: A Report to Congress Under the Violence Against Woman Act (NCJ 161405). Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, 1996.

Knudsen, Dean D., and Miller, JoAnn L., eds. Abused and Battered. New York: A. de Gruyter, 1991.

Miller, Neal. “Domestic Violence Legislation Affecting Police and Prosecutor Responsibilities in the United States: Inferences from a 50-State Review of State Statutory Codes.” Presentation to the 5th International Family Violence Consequence, University of New Hampshire, (1998).

Further Reading (Articles)

Pence, Ellen, and Paymar, Michael. Education Groups for Men Who Batter: The Duluth Model. New York: Springer, 1993.

Rosenfeld, Barry D. “Court Ordered Treatment of Spouse Abuse.” Clinical Psychology Review vol. 12 (1992): 205-226.

Schneider, Elizabeth M. “Particularity & Generality: Challenges of Feminist Theory and Practice in Work on Woman Abuse.” New York University Law Review 67(1992): 520-568.

Sherman, Lawrence. Policing Domestic Violence: Experiments and Dilemmas. New York: Free Press, 1992.

Smuts, Barbara. “Male Aggression Against Women: An Evolutionary Perspective.” In Sex, Power, Conflict. Edited by David M. Buss and Neil Malamuth. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Pages 231-268.

Steinman, Michael, ed. Woman Battering: Policy Responses. Highland Heights, Ky.: Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Northern Kentucky University, 1991.

Straus, Murray, and Gelles, Richard, eds. Physical Violence in American Families: Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction, 1990.

West, Angela. “Prosecutorial Activism: Confronting Heterosexism in a Lesbian Battering Case.” Harvard Women’s Law Journal 15 (1992): 249-271.

Yllo, Kerti, A., and Bograd, Michele, eds. Feminist Perspectives on Wife Abuse. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1988.

Zorza, Joan. “Must We Stop Arresting Batterers? Analysis and Policy Implications of New Police Domestic Violence Studies.” New England Law Review 28 (1994): 929-990.

Further Reading (Articles 2)

Gordon, Linda. Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence: Boston, 1880-1960. New York: Viking, 1988.

MacKinnon, Catharine A. Sex Equality. New York: Foundation Press, 2001.

Taylor, Betty, Sharon Rush, and Robert J. Munro, eds. Feminist Jurisprudence, Women, and the Law: Critical Essays, Research Agenda, and Bibliography. Littleton, Colo.: F. B. Rothman, 1999.

Wallace, Harvey. Family Violence: Legal, Medical, and Social Perspectives. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1996.


The Commonwealth Fund (1999). Health Concerns across a Woman’s Lifespan: The Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women’s Health.

National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control (1998). Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey.

Straus, M. A., and Gelles, R. J. (1990). Physical Violence in American Families. Somerset, NJ: Transaction.

U.S. Department of Education (1998). Violence and Discipline Problems in Public Schools: 1996-1997. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Department of Justice (1998). Violence by Intimates: Analysis of Data on Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends. Washington, DC: Author.

— (1997). Violence-Related Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments. Washington, DC: Author.

Further Reading (Articles 3)

Domestic violence courts., LawNow; February 1, 2002; Christopher, Catherine

Domestic Violence Cases Involving Children: Effects of an Evidence-Based Prosecution Approach, Violence and Victims; April 1, 2006; Gewirtz, Abigail Weidner, Robert R. Miller, Holly Zehm, Keri

Domestic Violence Screening and Service Acceptance among Adult Victims in a Dependency Court Setting, Child Welfare; January 1, 2007; Rivers, James E. Maze, Candice L. Hannah, Stefanie A. Lederman, Cindy S.

Domestic violence victims visit doctors: ; A simple question could save lives, Sunday Gazette-Mail; October 14, 2007; Laurie Thompsen

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BUDGET SHORTFALL RALLIES COMMUNITY, The Roanoke Times (Roanoke, VA); August 24, 2007; Denise Allen Membreno

Domestic violence at issue, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV); November 1, 1999; Jennifer Bundy

Domestic violence not private matter: Police change way they handle abusers, Charleston Daily Mail; May 12, 1999; KRISTEN YOUNG

Domestic Violence and Pregnancy: A Literature Review, International Journal of Childbirth Education; July 1, 2013; Cooper, Tanya Menezes

Domestic Violence And Homelessness, Virgin Islands Daily News; September 13, 2010; Iris Kern

Domestic Violence A ‘Silent Epidemic’, Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, PA); March 31, 2013; Christman, Amanda

Domestic violence fatality reviews, Sheriff; November 1, 2002; Wittel, Brigitte

Domestic Violence Is a Public Health Issue Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence Receives 2 Federal Grant Awards, US Fed News Service, Including US State News; April 16, 2013

Domestic Violence a Workplace Issue, Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand; April 1, 2014

Domestic violence is everyone’s business, New Pittsburgh Courier; August 14, 1999; Anonymous

Domestic-violence funds surviving in Obama budget, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV); May 18, 2009; Kathryn Gregory

Domestic violence between same-sex partners: Implications for counseling, Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD; January 1, 2003; Peterman, Linda M

Domestic Violence, OT Practice; April 28, 2008; DeLany, Janet V



Domestic Violence Is a Public Health Issue Delaware Coalition against Domestic Violence Receives Two Federal Grant

Domestic Violence: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Domestic Violence. This part provides references, in relation to Domestic Violence, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Domestic Violence by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Domestic Violence and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Domestic Violence or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Domestic Violence and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Domestic Violence. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Domestic Violence should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Domestic Violence when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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