Iowa Law and Domestic Violence

Iowa law combines two sections of the criminal code to define domestic violence. The assault code, which defines criminal behavior and the domestic abuse act, which defines a domestic relationship.

Assault, in lay language, is defined as one of the following:

  • Physical contact that is insulting or can cause an injury.
  • The threat of physical contact and the apparent ability to carry the threat out.
  • Using a weapon in a threatening manner.

Iowa Criminal Code 708 Assault – Definition
A domestic relationship is defined as one of the following:

  • Two individuals that are married, divorced or separated.
  • Two individuals that have lived together at some point in the past year.
  • Two individual that have a child in common, whether or not they have been married, divorced or living together at some point in the past year.
  • Two individuals in an intimate relationship or have been within the past year.

Iowa Criminal Code 236 the Domestic Abuse Act – Definition
If an individual is convicted of a domestic abuse assault they are likely to face the following consequences:

  • Mandated jail time
  • Attendance of a Batterer’s Education Program

Consequences vary based on the seriousness of the criminal conviction. If you have questions about your situation, contact a DVIP advocate at 319-351-1043 or 1-800-373-1043. An advocate can give you information or referrals about the following issues:

  • Your Legal Rights
  • Mandatory Arrest
  • Enhanced Penalties
  • Stalking
  • No-Contact Orders
  • Custody Issues related to Domestic Violence
  • Victim Compensation
  • Immigration issues related to Domestic Violence