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RI Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic Violence Prevention Act (§12-29)
These laws established a procedure for the Criminal Court System to handle domestic violence cases. This act created mandatory arrest, victimless prosecution, No Contact Orders, court advocates and batterers’ intervention programs.

Domestic Abuse Prevention, Family Court (§15-15) This act created Family Court Restraining Orders and provided a definition of Domestic Abuse within the Family Court. Persons qualified to receive such an order are those who are related to the defendant by blood or marriage, or those who are minors and have been in a substantial dating relationship with the defendant.

Domestic Abuse Prevention, District Court (§8-8.1) This act created District Court restraining orders and provided a definition of Domestic Abuse within the District Court Civil System. Persons qualified to receive such an order are those who have resided together or who have had a significant dating relationship within the past year.

Stalking (§11-59-1 and 2) and Cyberstalking (§11-52-4.2) These are the statutes that defined stalking and cyberstalking as crimes. Unfair discrimination against Subjects of Abuse Act (§27-60) This act made it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against victims of domestic violence.

Employment Protections (§12-28-10 and §28-44-17.1) These statutes made it illegal for a victim of domestic violence to be terminated due to the violence and also provide continued benefits for victims if they leave due to safety reasons.

Workplace Violence Protection (§28-52) This act allows an employer to file a restraining order for the place of business to protect that employer or an employee from a particular individual who has threatened or stalked the employer/employee.

Address Confidentiality Acts (§17-28, §15-22-5, and §40-5.1-46) These acts protect the addresses of domestic violence victims in voting, child support and FIP records.