Even if you do not qualify for a civil protection order, the abuser may have committed a crime. If you call the police, they may arrest him/her for a crime and you may get a restraining order through the criminal court. Remember that even if you do have a civil protection order, you can still report him/her to the police if you believe s/he committed a crime against you.
In our Abuse Using Technology section, you can learn the types of behaviors that are considered a misuse of technology. Some of these behaviors might be recognized as a crime depending on the specific laws of your state.
Here is a list of some possible crimes in the District of Columbia that the abuser may have committed. You can click on the links to read the legal definition of each crime on our State Statutes page:
- Sexual abuse (1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, 4th degree, and misdemeanor)
- Child sexual abuse (1st degree and 2nd degree)
- Minor sexual abuse (1st Degree and 2nd Degree)
- Misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child or minor
- Labor or sex trafficking
- Sex trafficking of children
- Sexual performance using minors
- Assault or threatened assault in a menacing manner
- Aggravated assault
- Threats to do bodily harm
- Criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult
- Cruelty to children
- Cruelty to animals
- Parental kidnapping
- Malicious burning, destruction, or injury to another’s property
- Threatening to kidnap or injure a person or damage his property
- Forcible entry and detainer
- Unlawful entry on property
- Unlawful entry of motor vehicle
- Unlawful disclosure
- Unlawful publication (1st degree, 2nd degree)
- Violation of an extreme risk protection order.
The Domestic Violence Unit, which serves as a liaison among the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the US Attorney’s Office, other law enforcement agencies, victim service agencies, victim advocates and the community in the Washington, D.C. area, provides information on victims’ rights and services. Their website also has specific information on how the MPD responds to domestic violence crimes here.
For information on victims’ compensation in the District of Columbia, visit the Crime Victims Compensation Program website.
For information about your rights as well as referrals to community-based organizations that provide counseling, advocacy, and legal advice, contact the D.C. Victim Hotline by telephone at 1-844-4HELPDC.
You may learn more about crimes by calling your local police department, sheriff’s department, or district attorney’s office. See our DC Sheriff Departments page for the contact information for your local sheriff’s department.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and have been charged with a crime, you can go to our Abuse Victims Charged with Crimes page.
Other organizations for victims of crime are listed on our National Organizations - Crime Victims page.