Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together).


How Can I Get a Civil Protection Order?

A domestic abuse victim can also file a petition herself, by using forms available from the Clerk of Court.  A civil protection order is a court order that tells an abuser to stay away from a victim of domestic violence. A person can file a petition with the Clerk of Court to ask for a protection order. Turning in this petition is the way a victim asks the court to protect him or her by telling the abuser to not have contact with the victim. A victim can either fill out the petition alone, with help from a local domestic violence program, or with the help of an attorney.  Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid



Criminal No Contact Orders and Civil Protection Orders

A lot of what we know about the law we learn from television.  We know that the police arrest people and charge them with crimes.  Domestic abuse is a crime where the defendant is accused of “assaulting” someone where there is a “domestic relationship” between the people.  A domestic relationship includes people who are married or people who have a minor child together.  Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


Questions and Answers About Protective Orders

An overview of different kinds of protective orders, who can get one, and other common concerns related to this subject. Content Detail


Questions and Answers About Domestic Abuse

These common questions and answers about domestic abuse provide a summary of Iowa law. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


How Do the Police Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse?

Often, police or other law enforcement officers respond to calls for help and have contact with domestic abuse victims in their homes. The Domestic Abuse Act requires these peace officers to protect victims of domestic abuse and enforce the law. The Domestic Abuse Act requires peace officers to do very specific things. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


The Criminal Process in Domestic Abuse Cases and Related Crimes

Any victim of a crime can file criminal charges against her assailant by contacting the police and making a report. A victim of domestic abuse has that same right. If the crime is domestic abuse assault, the Domestic Abuse Act requires certain things to happen in a criminal proceeding. This resource describes what happens when an abuser is charged with domestic abuse assault. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid


Should Criminal Charges Be Filed in Domestic Abuse Cases?

Sometimes criminal charges are filed against an abuser by the police, under the mandatory arrest requirements of the Domestic Abuse Act. Other times, a victim must decide whether to contact law enforcement and file charges against her abuser. Some victims may be afraid to file criminal charges because they are afraid they will be hurt even more by the abuser. Victims of domestic abuse must decide what is safest for them in their own situations. Read More

By: Iowa Legal Aid