What is Domestic Violence?




Domestic violence is a learned pattern of physical, verbal, sexual and/or emotional behaviors in which a person in an intimate relationship uses force and intimidation to dominate or control the other person. Domestic violence can occur between all types of couples -- see below for more information about this.

The violence can take many forms. It can happen all the time or just once in awhile.

  • Physical assault - hitting, pushing, shoving, slapping, choking, kicking, grabbing, beating, tripping, biting, use of a weapon, punching.

  • Threatened physical harm - making the threat to commit a physical assault.

  • Sexual assault or abuse - unwanted, forced sexual activity or assault of sexual parts of the body.

  • Stalking

  • Intimidation

  • Emotional abuse - name calling, mind games, put-downs, attacking self-esteem.

  • Forced isolation - controlling where the victim goes and who the victim is allowed to see, moving to a remote area, not allowing the victim to talk with family or friends.

  • Economic abuse - preventing the victim from getting a job or keeping a job, controlling all the finances, withholding money or providing an allowance, requiring the victim to ask for money and to justify spending money.
What are domestic violence crimes?

The Colorado legislature has defined domestic violence as any act or threatened act of violence on a person with whom the actor is or was involved with in an intimate relationship.

State law defines an intimate relationship as any type of romantic relationship, past or present, between couples. This encompasses virtually all types of couples including married and unmarried couples, same gender couples, couples who were just dating, couples who have lived together, couples who have had children together, couples who are still together and couples who are no longer together. There is no time factor in the definition and there is no requirement that the couple was sexually intimate.

Domestic violence also includes any other crime against either a person or property when the offender is acting to coerce, control, punish, intimidate or is seeking revenge against the victim.

Some of the common crimes involving domestic violence include:

  • Assault

  • Sexual assault

  • Violation of a restraining order

  • False imprisonment

  • Criminal mischief

  • Menacing

  • Harassment or stalking

Rose Andom Center

The Denver District Attorney’s Office is proud to partner with the Rose Andom Center – a collaborative, safe location that combines community and law enforcement resources to support victims of domestic violence. Services include:

  • Safety needs – referral and access to shelter services

  • Safety planning

  • Risk assessment

  • Crisis intervention, access to 24-hour hotlines

  • Safe play space for children while parent meets with service providers

  • Basic emergency needs for victims in need (i.e. toiletries)

  • Access to law enforcement

  • Assistance filing protection orders

  • Counseling and advocacy for adults, children and youth impacted by domestic violence

  • Facilitate access to public benefits (i.e. TANF, Medicaid)

  • Advocacy and information regarding the criminal justice system response

  • Assistance with a range of civil legal needs (i.e. custody, child support, bankruptcy)

  • Assistance with job readiness, skill building, job search and referrals

  • Referrals to transitional and permanent housing resources