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It’s never too late to take action if you are a victim of domestic violence. Contact 911 or the police right away if you feel you or your family are in danger. Once you are in a safe place, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney to understand what legal recourse is available to you to ensure the safety of you and your family.
Domestic violence can result in serious emotional and physical injury and even death. Nearly 50% of all female homicide victims are killed by a current or former male intimate partner. North Carolina law defines domestic violence as intentional cause or attempt to cause bodily injury by an individual upon a victim with whom such individual has or has had a personal relationship or upon a minor child of the victim. The definition also extends to threats against and harassment of a victim or a member of the victim’s family.
Domestic violence is a crime itself but perpetrators often engage in other crimes such as rape, assault, criminal trespass, stalking, and child abuse. Because of this, cooperating with the police and prosecutors can result in successful prosecution of an abuser.
In North Carolina, the Domestic Violence Act permits that a victim of domestic violence can request a protective order (or “restraining order”) from the Court. Any resident of North Carolina alleging domestic violence against herself or himself, or a minor child who resides with the victim, may seek a protective order. There is also emergency relief available if the victim fears a serious and immediate injury to her or himself or a minor child.
If granted, protective orders can provide several types of relief to victims, including the following:
Many resources are available to those that have been affected by domestic violence: https://nccadv.org/, the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. You can also call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit https://www.thehotline.org/.
When you and your family are in a safe place, our firm is here for you as well. We are proud of our work with domestic violence victims and we’re always ready to discuss your options with you.