Definitions of Domestic Violence - Utah

Date: January 2021

Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-7-102

Except as provided in § 78B-7-201, 'abuse' means intentionally or knowingly causing or attempting to cause another individual physical harm or intentionally or knowingly placing another individual in reasonable fear of imminent physical harm.

'Domestic violence' means the same as that term is defined in § 77-36-1.

Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws

Citation: Ann. Code § 78B-7-201

The term 'abuse' includes the following:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Any sexual offense described in title 76, chapter 5b, part 2, Sexual Exploitation
  • Human trafficking of a child for sexual exploitation under § 76-5-308.5

'Child protective order' means an order issued under this part after a hearing on the petition, of which the petitioner and respondent have been given notice.

'Ex parte child protective order' means an order issued without notice to the respondent under this part.

Defined in Criminal Laws

Citation: Ann. Code § 77-36-1

'Domestic violence' or 'domestic violence offense' means any criminal offense involving violence or physical harm; threat of violence or physical harm; or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a criminal offense involving violence or physical harm when committed by one cohabitant against another. 'Domestic violence' or 'domestic violence offense' also means commission or attempt to commit any of the following offenses by one cohabitant against another:

  • Assault or aggravated assault
  • Aggravated cruelty to an animal with the intent to harass or threaten the other cohabitant
  • Criminal homicide
  • Harassment
  • Electronic communication harassment
  • Kidnapping, child kidnapping, or aggravated kidnapping
  • Mayhem
  • Sexual offenses, as described in title 76, chapter 5, part 4, Sexual Offenses, and § 76-5b-201, Sexual Exploitation of a Minor€”Offenses
  • Stalking
  • Unlawful detention or unlawful detention of a minor
  • Violation of a protective order or ex parte protective order
  • Any offense against property, including property destruction, burglary, criminal trespass, or robbery
  • Possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault
  • Discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, near a highway, or in the direction of any person, building, or vehicle
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Child abuse, as described in § 76-5-109.1
  • Threatening use of a dangerous weapon
  • Threatening violence
  • Tampering with a witness
  • Retaliation against a witness or victim
  • Unlawful distribution of an intimate image
  • Sexual battery
  • Voyeurism
  • Damage to or interruption of a communication device
  • Violation of a protective order

Persons Included in the Definition

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 77-36-1; 78B-7-102

In criminal law: 'Cohabitant' has the same meaning as in § 78B-7-102.

In civil law: 'Cohabitant' means an emancipated person, pursuant to § 15-2-1, or a person who is age 16 or older to whom any of the following apply:

  • Is or was a spouse of the other party
  • Is or was living as if a spouse of the other party
  • Is related by blood or marriage to the other party as the individual's parent, grandparent, sibling, or any other individual related to the individual by consanguinity or affinity to the second degree
  • Has or had one or more children in common with the other party
  • Is the biological parent of the other party's unborn child
  • Resides or has resided in the same residence as the other party

'Cohabitant' does not include the following:

  • The relationship of natural parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent to a minor
  • The relationship between natural, adoptive, step, or foster siblings who are under age 18

'Dating relationship' means a relationship of a romantic or intimate nature or one that has romance or intimacy as a goal by one or both parties, regardless of whether it involves sexual intimacy. The term does not include casual fraternization in a business, educational, or social context.

In determining whether a dating relationship exists, all relevant factors shall be considered, including the following:

  • Whether the parties developed interpersonal bonding above a mere casual fraternization
  • The length of the parties' relationship
  • The nature and the frequency of the parties' interactions, including communications indicating that the parties intended to begin a dating relationship
  • The ongoing expectations of the parties, individual or jointly, with respect to the relationship
  • Whether, by statement or conduct, the parties demonstrated an affirmation of their relationship to others
  • Whether other reasons exist that support or detract from a finding that a dating relationship exists