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Domestic Violence

In North Dakota, domestic violence “includes physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity compelled by physical force, assault, or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, sexual activity compelled by physical force, or assault, not committed in self-defense, on the complaining family or household members.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes a family or household member?

"Family or household member" means a spouse, family member, former spouse, parent, child, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are in a dating relationship, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they are or have been married or have lived together at any time and, for the purpose of the issuance of a domestic violence protection order, any other person with a sufficient relationship to the abusing person as determined by the court under section 14-07.1-02.

What is a predominant aggressor?

"Predominant aggressor" means an individual who is the most significant, not necessarily the first, aggressor.

When is a report taken?

A law enforcement officer shall make a written report of the investigation of any allegation of domestic violence regardless of whether an arrest was made. If an officer determines through the course of an investigation that one of the individuals was the predominant aggressor, the report must include the name of that individual and a description of the evidence that supports the findings.

How come an arrest was or was not made?

If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a person has committed a crime involving domestic violence, whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor, and whether or not the crime was committed in the presence of the officer, the law enforcement officer shall presume that arresting the person is the appropriate response.

Can the person arrested for domestic violence be bailed out?

An individual arrested for a crime involving domestic violence may not be released on bail or on the individual's personal recognizance unless the individual has made a personal appearance before a magistrate pursuant to rule 5 of the North Dakota Rules of Criminal Procedure.


Rape and Abuse Crisis Center

The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead provides crisis intervention, counseling, advocacy, and education to male and female, child, adolescent, adult and elder victims of domestic/dating violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse and human trafficking/sexual exploitation. All victim services are free and confidential and distributed on a nondiscriminatory basis.

24-Hr. Crisis Phone: 701.293.7273

Location: 317 8th Street North, Fargo, ND


CAWS North Dakota is the statewide sexual and domestic violence coalition. CAWS North Dakota connects victims to local crisis intervention centers – people who can help.

YWCA of Cass Clay

The YWCA of Cass Clay is an emergency shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence, homelessness, and other crisis situations. They also offer a comprehensive education and employment program to help women effectively break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and their shelter children's services offer clothing, school supplies, on-site childcare and counseling referrals.

If you are being abused, are experiencing homelessness or are in crisis, please call their 24-Hour Line: 701.232.3449.

National Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline