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State Overview

Domestic Violence Legislation:Yes (§18.2-57.2---See Family Abuse)
NIBRS Status:Certified
Additional Data ElementsNo
Law Enforcement DV System:Incident-based
Service Provider DV System:Incident-based
Service Provider SA System:Incident-based

State Summary

The state does not have a statute defining domestic violence but instead defines family abuse, which includes spouses and ex-spouses, couples who live or have lived together in the last 12 months, and couples with a common child. The statute does not limit family abuse offenses to heterosexual couples; this determination is up to the discretion of judges. The state is NIBRS certified, but no additional data elements are collected. All local law enforcement agencies report crime data to the Virginia State Police; the data are published in the incident-based annual crime report. The State Police also maintains the state records of protection orders, which are available to criminal justice agencies through the Virginia Criminal Information Network.

Virginians Against Domestic Violence and Virginians Aligned Against Sexual Assault merged to form the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. The Alliance collects domestic and sexual violence and stalking data from all grant-funded domestic violence programs and a fluctuating number of rape crisis centers through the VAdata System. The information collected is collected at the person-level but does not include personal identifiers. Data are used in annual reports and aggregate data are available upon request. The Department of Criminal Justice Services' Criminal Justice Research Center also collects summary information from sexual assault service provider grantees.

The Virginia Office of the Attorney General recognizes localities that have instituted promising or innovative practices in responding to domestic violence in their communities through its Community Recognition Prorgram for Promising Practices in Domestic Violence Response program. In 2009, the Program honored the Loudoun Domestic Abuse Response Team.

The Virginia Department of Health's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner collects information on family and intimate partner homicides. Staff review death certificates, police reports, and autopsy reports to identify family and intimate partner homicides. A standard coding form is then used to collect the information for entry into the Family or Intimate Partner Violence Fatality Surveillance database. Annual reports are available from the Office's Web site and data can be requested.

State Projects

  • Project RADAR
    Project RADAR is a provider-focused initiative to promote the assessment and prevention of intimate partner violence in the health care setting. Through the RADAR initiative, the Center for Injury & Violence Prevention at the Virginia Department of Health seeks to enable Virginia's health care providers to recognize and respond to intimate partner violence (IPV) by providing them access to:
    • "best-practice" policies, guidelines, and assessment tools
    • training programs and specialty-specific curricula
    • awareness and educational materials
    • information on the latest research/data related to IPV

  • Available Reports

    General Crime

    Domestic Violence

    Sexual Assault

    Violence Against Women

    Sample Data Collection Forms

    The Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance collects information for its data collection system using these incident-based online forms:

    The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services collects quarterly summary reports from grantees using this form, with instructions:

    The Office of Chief Medical Examiner collects data for its database using this incident-based form:

    Available Data

    Domestic Violence

    Sexual Assault

    Links to State Agencies and Resources