Domestic violence law and the phrase "domestic violence" normally refers to crimes related to domestic abuse, including child neglect and child abuse, partner abuse, and elder abuse. Domestic violence is illegal in all fifty states. On the other hand, in addition to cooperating with the prosecution of criminal domestic violence charges, a domestic abuse victim can file civil charges as well.
Domestic abuse includes more than physical abuse; it also includes the threats, harassing, emotional abuse, and stalking that a domestic partner, spouse, or date uses to manipulate someone else's actions. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence: former partners, children, parents, roommates, and more, but it is most commonly directed towards women.