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.
If the abuser has misused technology in a way that you believe may be a crime, go to our Abuse Using Technology section to learn what types of behaviors are covered under criminal state laws.
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 (first degree and second degree)
- Child sexual abuse (first degree and second degree)
- Assault or threatened assault
- Aggravated assault
- Threats to do bodily harm
- Criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult
- Cruelty to children
- 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)
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. You can also call them at (202) 727-7137. 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 Victims of Crime Compensation Program website, or contact them by telephone at (202) 879-1010 (general number for D.C. courts).
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 Battered Women Charged with Crimes page.
Other organizations for victims of crime are listed on our National Organizations - Crime Victims page.