Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior characterized by the power and control of one person over another, usually an intimate partner, through physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, verbal, and/or economic abuse.

Maryland Law & Statutes

Maryland law defines domestic violence “abuse” as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between “family or household members”:

  • Assault
  • An act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • Rape or sexual offense
    Attempt rape or sexual offense
  • False imprisonment, such as interference with freedom, physically keeping you from leaving your home or kidnapping you.

Domestic violence law is governed primarily by criminal and family law statutes. In Maryland, the official source for the state statutes is the Annotated Code of Maryland.

See below for citations to selected Maryland Family law statutes:

  • MD Code Fam. Law Title 4: Spouses
  • MD Code Fam. Law Title 5: Children
  • MD Code Fam. Law Title 14: Adult Protective Services
  • MD Code Crim. Law Title 3: Other Crimes against the Person (Includes Subtitle 8: Stalking and Harassment; Subtitle 2: Assault, Reckless Endangerment, and Related Crimes; and Subtitle 3: Sexual Crimes