Definitions of Domestic Violence - Maryland

Date:

Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws

Citation: Fam. Law § 4-501

'Abuse' means any of the following acts:

  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • An act that places a person eligible for relief in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • Assault in any degree
  • Rape or sexual offense under §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of the Criminal Law Article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree
  • False imprisonment
  • Stalking under § 3-802 of the Criminal Law Article
  • Revenge porn under § 3-809 of the Criminal Law Article

Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws

Citation: Fam. Law § 4-501

If the person for whom relief (from domestic violence) is sought is a child, 'abuse' also may include abuse of a child, as defined in title 5, subtitle 7 of this article. Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed to prohibit reasonable punishment, including reasonable corporal punishment, considering the age and condition of the child, from being performed by a parent or stepparent of the child.

Defined in Criminal Laws

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Persons Included in the Definition

Citation: Fam. Law §§ 4-501; 4-513

'Person eligible for relief' includes the following:

  • The current or former spouse of the respondent
  • A cohabitant of the respondent
  • A person related to the respondent by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • A parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the respondent or the person eligible for relief who resides or resided with the respondent or person eligible for relief for at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition
  • A vulnerable adult
  • An individual who has a child in common with the respondent
  • An individual who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent within 1 year before the filing of the petition
  • An individual who alleges that the respondent committed, within 6 months before the filing of the petition, any of the following acts against the individual rape or a sexual offense or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree

'Cohabitant' means a person who has had a sexual relationship with the respondent and resided with the respondent in the home for a period of at least 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition.

'Victim of domestic violence' means an individual who has received deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury or is in fear of imminent deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury from a current or former spouse or a current or former cohabitant.