How Is Domestic Violence Defined In Oklahoma?

Oklahoma refers to domestic violence as domestic abuse. It’s also sometimes referred to as domestic assault & battery (A&B). It is defined in 22 O.S. § 60.1 as any act of physical harm, or the threat of imminent physical harm which is committed by an adult, emancipated minor, or minor child 13 years of age or older against another adult, emancipated minor or minor child who are family or household members or who are or were in a dating relationship.Assault, defined in 21 O.S. § 641, is the willful and unlawful attempt or offer with force, coercion, or violence to do corporal harm to another. Battery, defined in 21 O.S. § 642, is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another.

The primary Oklahoma domestic abuse statute is 21 O.S. § 644. It states that someone is guilty of domestic abuse if they commit any assault or battery against:

  • a current or former spouse,
  • a present spouse of a former spouse,
  • a former spouse of a present spouse,
  • parents,
  • a foster parent,
  • a child,
  • a person otherwise related by blood or marriage,
  • a person with whom the defendant is or was in a dating relationship,
  • an individual with whom the defendant has had a child,
  • a person who formerly lived in the same household as the defendant, or
  • a person living in the same household as the defendant.

Note the wide range of possibilities for an assault and battery to be considered domestic abuse. For example, domestic abuse can be committed against any child—not just someone the abuser is related to. When it comes to relatives, domestic abuse could occur when committed against any relative—no matter how remote. The possibilities are endless.

Dating relationship, defined in 22 O.S. 60.1, means a courtship or engagement relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context does not constitute a dating relationship.


22 O.S. § 60.1
21 O.S. § 641
21 O.S. § 642
21 O.S. § 644

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