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Code Sections Code of Virginia §18.2-57
What Protections are Available?

Civil and criminal

Definition of Domestic Violence/Family Abuse

"Family abuse" means any act involving violence, force, or threat including any forceful detention, which results in physical injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of serious bodily injury and which is committed by a person against such a person's family or household member.

Family/Household Member Relationship Requirement
  • Spouse, regardless of residence,
  • Ex-spouse, regardless of residence,
  • In-laws who live in the same home,
  • Persons who have a child in common regardless of residence,
  • Co-habitants, and
  • Those who have cohabited in the past year and their children.
Penalties

Any person who commits domestic assault and battery or family abuse shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Three or more convictions in a 10-year period elevate the crime to a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The prior convictions can be from other jurisdictions in Virginia, but they must have occurred on different dates.

Types of Protective Orders Available Protective Orders