What is the legal definition of domestic violence in the District of Columbia?
This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a civil protection order (CPO) in Washington, D.C.
You are eligible to file for a CPO against:
- a person regardless of your relationship with him/her if s/he commits:
- a “sexual assault” crime as defined by D.C. law;
- trafficking in labor or commercial sex; or
- sex trafficking of children;1 or
- a family member, household member, or intimate partner if s/he commits:
- any crime against you; or
- cruelty to animals against an animal that belongs to you.1
Note: Crimes committed by a family member, household member, or intimate partner are called “intrafamily offenses.” You can read the definitions of family member, household member, and intimate partner in Who can get a civil protection order? You can read the definitions of some common crimes on our D.C. Crimes page.
1 D.C. Code § 16-1003(a)