Wednesday, March 3, 2010

You can call the police if someone has committed a crime

Even if you do not qualify for a restraining order, the abuser may have committed a crime. If you call the police, they may arrest him for a crime. Each state has its own list of crimes and definition of crimes. These definitions and explanations are usually located in the Penal Code or Criminal Code of that state's legal statutes.

Even if there is a crime of domestic violence, the definition of that crime may not be the same as the definition of domestic violence used for getting a restraining order. Whether or not a state has a specific crime of domestic violence, it will have other crimes that the abuser may have committed. Crimes in your state may include:

  • Assault
  • Threats (or menacing)
  • Endangerment
  • Criminal coercion
  • Kidnapping
  • Unlawful imprisonment
  • Sexual offenses (e.g. sexual assault, rape)
  • Trespassing
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
You may learn more about crimes by calling your local police department, sheriff's department, or district attorney's office. See our Sheriff's Departments page for the contact information for your local sheriff's department.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and have been charged with a crime, you can contact the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women.

Other organizations for victims of crime are listed on our National Organizations page.

You may want to contact the Stalking Resource Center if you are being stalked or harassed:

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