Common Definitions

What is domestic violence?

Is defined as a pattern of abusive tactics perpetrated by a family or household member to maintain power and control over the victim. DV can be physical, emotional, financial, sexual, isolation, verbal and psychological.

What is sexual assault/rape?

Is defined as any unwanted, forced or coerced sexual contact. That includes touching and sexual penetration.

What is stalking?

Is defined as a pattern of behavior that caused you to believe someone will cause you harm or mental distress.

What is assault?

Causing or attempting to cause harm to another person or to an unborn child.

What is a civil protection order?

A civil protection order (CPO) is issued by the domestic relations court to protect victims of domestic violence, with the aim of preventing future domestic violence. Additionally, a common pleas court can issue a civil stalking or sexually orientated offense protection order (CSOOPO) to protect a victim of stalking.