Domestic violence laws victims of domestic violence are protected under both federal and state laws and may seek relief in civil as well as criminal court for example victims may help law enforcement build a criminal case against their abuser while at the same time filing a civil lawsuit for assault and battery. Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship married or domestic partners are dating or used to date live or lived together or have a child together it is also when the abused person and the abusive . Federal legislation has been enacted making domestic violence a crime most notably the violence against women act vawa however the vast majority of domestic violence offenses are prosecuted under state law convictions for domestic violence in all states require that the defendants conduct and relationship to the victim meet certain . A guide to domestic violence law resources including sources of federal state and international law practice materials and materials on specific legal issues as well as news scholarship agencies and organizations
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