Alaska Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse is generally understood as controlling or domineering behavior whereby one person exercises power over another person by means of physical, psychological or sexual threat or abuse. It is a pervasive problem, and the State of Alaska is reported to have the highest incidence of domestic abuse in the US. According to a June 2019 USA Today report, domestic abuse statistics in Alaska reveal a stark picture with around 59% of women has experienced some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime. Around 30% also reported the non-availability of support services at the time.
Domestic Abuse Laws in Alaska
Under Alaska Domestic Abuse Laws, domestic abuse or violence includes the following offenses committed by a member of a household against another member:
Acts of burglary
Illegal trespassing with criminal intent
Criminal acts including but not limited to murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, assault including sexual assault, stalking, etc.
Endangering property or person by committing acts of arson
Violation of restraining orders
Harassment including physical, emotional and sexual harassment
Who is a Household Member?
A household member means any of the following persons whether adult or minor:
Spouses including former spouses.
Persons who resided or used to reside together.
Persons who are or were involved in a romantic or sexual relationship.
Persons who are (or were, as the case may be) related to each other by blood or marriage.
Persons who have children with each other.
Minor children of the aforementioned people.
Mandatory Arrest for Domestic Abuse
Subject to certain exceptions, Alaska Domestic Abuse Law stipulates mandatory arrest in case of domestic abuse incidents. If a police officer has reason to believe that, within the last 12 hours, a person has committed an act of domestic violence or violated a protective order or a condition of release, then the officer is required by law to arrest the domestic abuser.
A victim of a violent domestic abuse crime who has sustained physical or mental injuries from the violence can claim compensation from the Alaska Violent Crimes Compensation Board. The compensation may be extended to cover the cost of counseling, medical care, transportation to obtain counseling and medical aid, income lost due to injury, security measures, etc.
How to Get Help?
For immediate assistance, please contact 911.
A victim may also seek help for domestic abuse in any of the following ways:
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis (AWAIC) Crisis Line:
Domestic Violence Service Providers
There are several domestic violence services providers in Alaska which lend aid and services to victims of domestic abuse in the form of emergency shelters, crisis lines, legal aid, support groups, children advocacy programs, and much more.
In Alaska, the victim may obtain three types of a protective or restraining order against the domestic abuser.
Emergency Order: It is issued by a court at the request of a law enforcement officer if there is a reason to believe that the victim is in danger. The request is made with the consent of the victim. The order is valid for 72 hours.
Ex parte Order: It is issued at the request of the victim and is valid for 20 days. The order is issued if the court believes that an incident of domestic abuse has occurred and extending immediate protection to the victim is warranted.
Final Order: It is issued after a court hearing and is valid for up to a year.
Protective orders may enjoin the domestic abuser from contacting the victim, causing or threatening harm to the victim, from imbibing controlled substances, and/or from possessing a firearm. The order may also require the abuser to undergo counseling, to surrender their firearms, and bear the medical and legal expenses of the victim arising as a result of the abuse.
Additional Sources of Information