Definitions of Domestic Violence - Vermont

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Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15, § 1101

'Abuse' means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family or household members:

  • Attempting to cause or causing physical harm
  • Placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm
  • Abuse to children, as defined in subchapter 2 of chapter 49 of title 33
  • Stalking, as defined in title 12, § 5131(6)
  • Sexual assault, as defined in title 12, § 5131(5)

Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Defined in Criminal Laws

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 13, §§ 1042; 1043; 1044

Any person who attempts to cause or willfully or recklessly causes bodily injury to a family or household member or who willfully causes a family or household member to fear imminent serious bodily injury is guilty of 'domestic assault.'

A person commits the crime of 'first-degree aggravated domestic assault' if the person does any of the following:

  • Attempts to cause or willfully or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a family or household member
  • Uses, attempts to use, or is armed with a deadly weapon and threatens to use the deadly weapon on a family or household member
  • Commits the crime of domestic assault and has been previously convicted of aggravated domestic assault

A person commits the crime of 'second-degree aggravated domestic assault' if the person does any of the following:

  • Commits the crime of domestic assault and such conduct violates any of the following:
    • Specific conditions of a criminal court order in effect at the time of the offense imposed to protect that other person
    • A final abuse prevention order issued under title 15, § 1103 or a similar order issued in another jurisdiction
    • A final order against stalking or sexual assault issued under title 12, § 5133 or a similar order issued in another jurisdiction
    • A final order against abuse of a vulnerable adult issued under title 33, § 6935 or a similar order issued in another jurisdiction
  • Commits the crime of domestic assault and either of the following apply:
    • Has a prior conviction within the last 10 years for violating an abuse protection order issued
    • Has a prior conviction for domestic assault

For the purpose of this subsection, the term 'issued in another jurisdiction' means issued by a court in any other State; federally recognized Indian Tribe, territory, or possession of the United States; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; or the District of Columbia.

Persons Included in the Definition

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15, § 1101; Tit. 13, § 1041

In civil law: The term 'household members' means persons who meet the following criteria for any period of time:

  • Are living or have lived together
  • Are sharing or have shared occupancy of a dwelling
  • Are engaged in or have engaged in a sexual relationship
  • Are minors or adults who are dating or who have dated

The term 'dating' means a social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors that the court may consider when determining whether a dating relationship exists or existed include the following:

  • The nature of the relationship
  • The length of time the relationship has existed
  • The frequency of interaction between the parties
  • The length of time since the relationship was terminated, if applicable

In criminal law: As used in this subchapter, 'family or household members' means persons who are eligible for relief from abuse under title 15, chapter 21.