Women are not the only victims of domestic violence. According to the latest statistics released by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 25% of the victims of domestic violence in North Carolina are male. Further, it is estimated that 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of domestic violence.
Sadly, some male victims of domestic violence are hesitant to report their own abuse or to seek help. This may be due to embarrassment, a perception of “weakness” that runs contrary to “manliness,” or even a lack of awareness that help is available. In fact, men have the same legal rights to seek protective orders as women.
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
Domestic violence occurs when one or more of the following acts is committed by a person with a “personal relationship” with the aggrieved person: (1) attempting to cause, or intentionally causing, bodily injury; (2) subjecting the aggrieved person or their family members to “fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment;” or (3) committing a pre-defined criminal act against the aggrieved person.
The following are considered personal relationships: (1) current or former spouses; (2) people of opposite sexes who have cohabitated or are household members; (3) parents, children, and grandparents; (4) parents to the same child/children; or (5) people who are dating or have dated.
If you look at the definition, you will notice that it is gender neutral as to who can be considered an aggrieved person. This means that men have an equal right as women to seek a domestic violence protective order (DVPO) if they can show the court that a person who meets one of the above-listed “personal relationship” requirements committed one of the statutory acts of domestic violence. These restraining orders create a legal protection to you or your children, and they can even force your abuser out of your household.
If you are in fear for your safety by your intimate partner, get help. The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADA) offers a listing of domestic violence shelters by county. In addition, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Contact New Direction Family Law
At New Direction Family Law, we take domestic violence very seriously. Regardless of gender, we represent clients who need help getting out of a toxic relationship. There are legal steps that can be taken to protect you, protect your children, and protect your property. Our attorneys are invested in providing strong, effective representation to people who need help. If you need assistance, call us today. We serve clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Call (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online at our website.
Carly G. Baker
New Direction Family Law