Definitions of Domestic Violence - Virgin Islands

Date: January 2021

Defined in Domestic Violence Civil Laws

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 91

'Domestic violence' means the occurrence of any of the following acts, attempts, or threats against a person who may be protected under this chapter:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Burglary
  • Kidnapping
  • Unlawful sexual contact
  • Rape
  • Forcible or unlawful entry
  • Coercion
  • Destruction of property
  • Harassment
  • Threats
  • False imprisonment
  • Stalking
  • Violation of a restraining order

'Coercion' means compelling another by force or threat of force to engage in conduct from which the latter has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage.

'Destruction of property' means causing damage to the property of another or to property jointly owned by the perpetrator and another.

'Harassment' means engaging in a purposeful, knowing, or reckless course of conduct involving more than one incident that alarms or causes distress to another person and serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer distress and must actually cause distress. Such conduct shall include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Following another about in a public place or places with the intent to distress or intimidate the victim
  • Peering in the window, trespassing, or coming upon or about the premises of the victim so as to intrude on privacy or create a menacing or threatening situation

Defined in Child Abuse Reporting and Child Protection Laws

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Defined in Criminal Laws

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Persons Included in the Definition

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 16, § 91

The term 'cohabitants' includes any of the following:

  • Emancipated minors or persons age 18 or older of the opposite sex who have resided together or who currently are residing in the same living quarters
  • Persons who together are the parents of one or more children regardless of their marital status or whether they have lived together at any time

The term 'victim' includes any person who has been subjected to domestic violence by any of the following:

  • A spouse or former spouse
  • A parent or child
  • Any other person related by blood or marriage
  • A present or former household member
  • A person with whom the victim has a child in common
  • A person who is or has been in a sexual or otherwise intimate relationship with the victim