WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Virginia

Restraining Orders

View all
Updated: 
December 4, 2020

What is the legal definition of domestic violence in Virginia?

This section defines domestic violence for the purposes of getting a protective order.

In Virginia, domestic violence is referred to as family abuse. “Family abuse” is when a family or household member commits any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in physical injury or places you in reasonable fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. Such acts include, but are not limited to, any forceful detention, stalking, criminal sexual assault or any criminal offense that results in bodily injury or places you in reasonable fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.1

1 Va. Code § 16.1-228