Domestic Violence Acts/Crimes

Click QUICK EXIT to leave this page immediately.
Call 911 if you need help right now.

Domestic violence is hard to define because there is no crime called "domestic violence" in New York State law. Domestic violence is handled through the courts as a "family offense." A family offense is defined as certain acts/crimes in the Penal Law. Below is a list of crimes and what they mean:

Name of Act/Crime What it Means

Hit, punch,kick, throw things at,
or use a weapon against


Follow, monitor, or track


Repeatedly do something that causes alarm or distress and serves no useful purpose

Aggravated Harassment

Repeatedly do something that causes alarm or distress and serves no useful purpose by using electronic means, like a phone or computer


Threatening to harm with or without a weapon

Reckless Endangerment

Putting the person in a dangerous position that might cause physical injury

Strangulation/Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Circulation

Strangle or choke, putting hand on the neck and squeezing even slightly; blocking nose or mouth

Disorderly Conduct

Behavior that disturbs others, like drunken yelling or fighting

Criminal Mischief

Destroy or take property without permission, even if it is property that you own together. Examples: breaking a cell phone or scratching a car

Sexual Abuse/Sexual Misconduct/Forcible Touching

Any unwanted sexual conduct


Actions or words that make someone afraid or force them to do something or stop them from doing something


Words said to make someone afraid

Identity Theft

Using someone’s personal information or credit without their permission

Grand Larceny

Taking someone’s property worth more than $1,000.00, without their permission and with no intent to return it


Trying to prevent someone from doing something that they have the legal right to do

Any other violation of the Penal Law

YouTube DIY Forms Ask a Law Librarian