A victim of domestic violence is a person protected by the Domestic Violence Act (including abuse and neglect of the elderly and disabled) and includes any person:
- who is 18 years of age or older, or
- who is an emancipated minor, and who has been subjected to domestic violence by:
- former spouse
- any other person who is a present or former household member, OR
- who regardless of age, has been subjected to domestic violence by a person:
- with whom the victim has had a child in common, or
- with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.
- who, regardless of age, has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.
- a victim may be below the age of 18.
- a domestic violence assailant must be over the age of 18 or emancipated at the time of the offense.
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act does not define a victim of domestic violence by age, physical or psychological condition or sex.
An unemancipated minor who commits an act of domestic violence may not be prosecuted as a domestic violence defendant but can be prosecuted under the juvenile delinquency laws. The entry of pre- or post-dispositional restraints can also be considered.
A minor is considered emancipated from his or her parents when the minor:
- has been married
- has entered military service
- has a child or is pregnant; or
- has been previously declared by the court or an administrative agency to be emancipated.