Definitions of Domestic Violence - New York

Date: January 2021

Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws

Citation: Soc. Serv. Law § 459-a

The term 'victim of domestic violence' means any person over age 16, any married person, or any parent accompanied by his or her minor child or children in situations in which such person or such person's child is a victim of an act that would constitute a violation of the penal law, including, but not limited to, acts constituting disorderly conduct, harassment, aggravated harassment, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse, stalking, criminal mischief, menacing, reckless endangerment, kidnapping, assault, attempted assault, attempted murder, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, strangulation, identity theft, grand larceny, or coercion and either of the following apply:

  • Such act or acts have resulted in actual physical or emotional injury or have created a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to such person or such person's child.
  • Such act or acts are or are alleged to have been committed by a family or household member.

Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Defined in Criminal Laws

Citation: Crim. Proc. Law § 530.11

The family court and the criminal courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction over any proceeding concerning acts between spouses or former spouses or between parent and child or between members of the same family or household that would constitute any of the following:

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Harassment or aggravated harassment
  • Sexual misconduct, forcible touching, or sexual abuse
  • Stalking, criminal mischief, menacing, or reckless endangerment
  • Strangulation or criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
  • Assault or attempted assault
  • Identity theft or grand larceny
  • Coercion

Persons Included in the Definition

Citation: Crim. Proc. Law § 530.11; Soc. Serv. Law § 459-a

In criminal law: The term 'members of the same family or household' with respect to a proceeding in the criminal courts shall mean the following:

  • Persons related by consanguinity or affinity
  • Persons legally married to one another
  • Persons formerly married to one another regardless of whether they still reside in the same household
  • Persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether such persons have been married or have lived together at any time
  • Persons who are not related by consanguinity or affinity and who are or have been in an intimate relationship regardless of whether such persons have lived together at any time

In civil law: The term 'family or household members' also includes the following individuals:

  • Unrelated persons who are continually or at regular intervals living in the same household or who have in the past continually or at regular intervals lived in the same household
  • Any other category of individuals deemed to be a victim of domestic violence as defined by the Office of Children and Family Services in regulation

'Parent' means a natural or adoptive parent or any individual lawfully charged with a minor child's care or custody.

In civil and criminal law: Factors that may be considered in determining whether a relationship is an 'intimate relationship' include, but are not limited to , the following:

  • The nature or type of relationship regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature
  • The frequency of interaction between the persons
  • The duration of the relationship

Neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute an intimate relationship.