Disclaimers & Definitions

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LAST UPDATED:  January 9, 2022


Mother Justice IS NOT an attorney, mental health provider, or financial advisor and IS NOT qualified in any manner to give specialized legal, health or financial advice. Nothing on this website can or should be construed as legal interpretation, counseling or advice. Anecdotes of systemic responses are merely personal observations or personal opinion. If you have questions regarding a legal matter, please contact your state’s Bar Association or your local domestic violence or sexual assault crisis center for information on your state’s available legal resources, definitions of crime types, administrative court rules and other legal matters. For mental health or financial well-being, please contact the appropriate qualified or certified professional.


Use of Gender Pronouns

Great effort has been made to make this website gender neutral to be as inclusive as possible.  For grammatical simplicity and to reflect national statistics on domestic and sexual violence, if genders are used, “she/her” is used to identify victim/survivors and “he/him” is used to identify perpetrators of interpersonal violence.  It is important to note that boys and men, as well as persons in the LGBTQ community, can also be victims of child maltreatment, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault and domestic violence.


Definitions of Violence Types

Terms used here are not legal definitions, but terms generally used by advocacy groups to differentiate crime types (for legal definitions in your state or territory, contact legal programs in your area).   For the purposes of this website, family violence and interpersonal violence are used interchangeably to indicate the multiple forms of violence addressed here, including:


  • Domestic Violence: also known as intimate partner violence, domestic abuse, intimate terrorism, etc.  Domestic violence is a pattern of premeditated, repetitive, intentional and conscious behaviors, knowing a victim’s trauma triggers and vulnerabilities, used by a perpetrator to gain and maintain dominance over the intimate partner and children in the home. The behaviors can range from luring and grooming, up to and including physical or sexual assault.
  • Sexual Violence: includes crimes such as rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, incest, molestation, sexual exploitation and sex trafficking.
  • Child Maltreatment: includes crimes such as physical assault, neglect, emotional abuse, incest, molestation, etc., perpetrated against persons under the age of 18.
  • Stalking: multiple acts of following, contacting or harassing another person with the intent of causing the target fear.
  • Sex Trafficking: the buying and selling of women, children and men, or their images, without their consent or by force or coercion for sexual exploitation.
  • Elder Abuse: includes crimes such as physical assault, neglect, emotional abuse, sexual assault or financial exploitation of persons over the age of 65.