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