Recently, the Federal Government announced the month of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Sadly, domestic violence is far too prevalent in society. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, which equates to approximately 10 million victims of domestic violence per year.
What Classifies as a “Personal Relationship”
Domestic violence often occurs with people involved in a personal relationship. North Carolina law (Chapter 50B) defines people in a “personal relationship” as the following:
- Current or former spouses;
- Persons of the opposite sex who live together or have lived together;
- Parents and their children or grandparents and their grandchildren;
- Persons who have a child in common;
- Current or former household members;
- Persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship.
People in a personal relationship can request that a judge grant them a Domestic Violence Order of Protection. For those not in a “personal relationship,” protection through a civil no-contact order is also available under Chapter 50C.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence
There are numerous instances where a judge in North Carolina can find that domestic violence has occurred. A non-exhaustive list includes:
- Attempting to cause bodily injury;
- Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment;
- Rape; and
- Sexual Battery.
Domestic Violence Order of Protection
Should a judge grant a domestic violence order of protection, there are many forms of relief available for aggrieved parties, including but not limited to:
- Ordering one party to stay away from the other;
- Awarding the residence to one of the parties and excluding the other party from the residence;
- Awarding custody of minor children;
- Prohibiting a party from purchasing a firearm;
- Ordering one party to refrain from threatening, abusing, or following the other party.
Speak with an Attorney if You Feel Unsafe or Have Suffered from Domestic Violence
Should someone find themselves in a situation where they do not feel safe or are in fear for their safety, it would certainly be helpful to seek protection through the court. The attorneys at Offit Kurman are well versed in the law surrounding domestic violence and have many years of experience dealing with these oftentimes complex issues. Additionally, given the nature of the current pandemic, we have the capability to speak with clients over the phone as well as via video conferencing.
ABOUT KYLE FROST
Kyle Frost is a North Carolina board-certified specialist in family law, with emphasis on equitable distribution, child custody, child support, alimony, post-separation support, step-parent adoptions, and post-judgment practice including contempt proceedings. His practice encompasses Mecklenburg, Gaston, and the surrounding North Carolina counties.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman, one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the United States, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. With 15 offices and nearly 250 lawyers who counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice, Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration. For more information, visit www.offitkurman.com.
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