Domestic violence is threatening violence or causing physical harm to a family member. Different laws apply if the person is not a family member. It is important to understand what constitutes a family member under the law so that you can fully understand the application of a domestic violence charge. It will also help you if you are a victim that wants to report a crime because you will know whether to report it as domestic violence or another crime.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence explains that the law defines a family member a little differently than you may. It does include someone related to you by blood or adoption, but it also includes household members, who may be people not related by blood or through legal means.
A spouse, former spouse, or anyone with whom you have or have had in the past a romantic relationship is a family member even if that person no longer lives in your home. The length of the relationship does not matter as a dating relationship qualifies under this law. It also may include children and parents.
If you have a physical altercation with a stranger, then this is not domestic violence. You should also note that violence or threatened violence is an important factor in domestic violence. A simple argument or even verbal abuse does not fall under the definition of domestic violence in the state.
The threat of violence may include stalking or just the indication that someone may use violence in a situation. It can also include violating a court order, such as a restraining order.