|By PR Newswire||
|January 11, 2013 04:22 PM EST||
RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Far too often we hear tragic stories of marriages that end not with a separation and divorce, but with the murder of one's spouse by the other. Domestic violence is a problem that does not discriminate. It is statistically consistent across all socio-economic and racial lines, and occurs in all types of families and personal relationships. People of any socio-economic class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. In fact, in 2011, domestic violence claimed the lives of 106 people in North Carolina.
While many try to argue that alcohol use, drug use, and stress cause domestic violence, generally, domestic violence occurs when an abuser has learned to abuse and chooses to do so. Others try to argue that domestic violence is caused by mental illness. In reality, however, domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness. An abuser may suffer from a mental illness, but it is not the illness that causes the abuser to harm his or her partner.
North Carolina provides both civil and criminal remedies for victims of domestic violence. Chapter 50-B of the North Carolina General Statutes allows domestic violence victims to seek an order of protection against the offender. This Order is often referred to as a Restraining Order, 50B Order, or a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO). A DVPO is a civil court order signed by a judge that among other things, offers protection to victims of domestic violence by ordering the abuser to refrain from threatening, abusing, harassing, or following the other party. In addition, as part of a DVPO, the judge can order that the abuser be evicted from the parties' residence and provide assistance to the victim in returning to the residence.
The statute defines domestic violence to include the following: attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; placing the person or a member of his or her household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment (stalking) that rises to a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or the commission of rape or other sexual offenses. In order to be eligible for a DVPO, you must be in a personal relationship with the opposing party. "Personal relationships" include the following: current or former spouses; persons of the opposite sex who have lived together; persons who are related as parents and children; persons who have a child in common; current or former household members; and persons of the opposite sex who are or were in a dating relationship. While you must have been involved in one of the above referenced relationships to be eligible for a DVPO, you may still be eligible for a Civil No-Contact Order pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 50C, which provides similar relief to a DVPO, but does not require you to have been in a personal relationship with the opposing party.
If you are the victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, there are resources available to help. In Wake County, the non-profit agency Interact provides support and guidance to victims of domestic violence. They offer a 24-hour crisis line which can be reached at 919-828-7740. For more information, visit their website at www.interactofwake.org.
Jaime Humphries Davis a Raleigh Divorce Lawyer is a Board Certified family law specialist and partner with the family law firm of Gailor Hunt Jenkins Davis & Taylor PLLC. She can be reached at 919-832-8488 or Jdavis@gwhlaw.com. You can also connect with the Raleigh Divorce Lawyers Facebook page.
Jamie Humphries Davis Gailor Hunt Jenkins Davis & Taylor PLLC, (919) 832-8488, Jdavis@gwhlaw.com
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SOURCE Gailor Hunt Jenkins Davis & Taylor PLLC
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