Categories of Domestic Violence for CPOs
In the District of Columbia, the D.C. Code divides domestic violence into three categories for purposes of obtaining a civil protective order (CPO). Generally, domestic violence is when someone in one of the categories commits or threatens to commit a crime against you. The three categories are interpersonal violence, intimate partner violence, and intrafamily violence.
Interpersonal violence – a criminal act committed by someone who you share a home with (i.e. a roommate), or someone who is or was in an intimate relationship with the same person that you are/were in an intimate relationship with (i.e. you are dating Alex, and Alex’s ex-wife assaults you).
Intimate partner violence – a criminal act committed by someone who you are or were married to, in a domestic partnership with, dating, or with whom you had a sexual relationship.
Intrafamily violence – a criminal act committed by someone who you are related by blood, adoption, legal custody, marriage, domestic partnership, or with whom you have a child in common.
These are the three categories of domestic violence for CPO petitions in the District of Columbia. Keep in mind that if you are the victim of stalking, sexual assault, or sexual abuse, you can also file for a CPO even if you do not fall into one of the three above-mentioned categories.