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Anti Stalking Laws in North Carolina

In Domestic Violence, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

Stalking is terrifying, dangerous, and sometimes deadly for victims. Beyond the invasion of privacy, stalking creates a virtual prison and constant threat for a victim—possibly leaving lasting psychological damage. Because of the emotional trauma, extreme danger, and the “strong connections” between stalking and domestic violence and sexual assault, stalking is a crime in North Carolina. The Crime of Stalking Specifically, under North Carolina General Statute § 14-277.3A, a person commits the crime of stalking if: the person “willfully on more than one occasion harasses another person without legal purpose or willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person without legal purpose”; and the person “knows or should know that the harassment or the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to” fear for their safety …

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Male Victims of Domestic Violence Need Help Too

In Domestic Violence by Elizabeth Stephenson

  Contrary to popular belief, falling victim to domestic violence is not a gender exclusive experience. While it is true that the overwhelming majority of domestic violence victims are females, it does a tremendous disservice to ignore that many men are victims as well and deserve attention. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), it is estimated that one in four men have been the victim of some form of intimate partner violence, while one in seven men have been the victim of “severe” physical violence by a partner. For anyone involved in a domestic violence relationship, it can be an incredible struggle to decide to seek help. This is because the power and control wheel creates an unhealthy balance of fear, love, self-doubt, helplessness, and dependence that …

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When Do Protective Orders Expire?

In Domestic Violence by Sarah Hink

For its victims and survivors, domestic violence is truly terrifying. The actions of the abuser have stripped them of their trust, their security, and any peace of mind. When the abuser is out there and remains a safety threat, one of the few tools that a victim has is to seek a domestic violence protective order (DVPO). What is a DVPO? A DVPO is a court order that restricts an abuser from being in the physical proximity of the victim, or harassing the victim via telephone, email, or mail. In addition, a DVPO may address the victim’s living situation by expelling an abusive spouse from the home. Protective orders are granted if the aggrieved party can demonstrate that a person with whom they had a personal relationship committed one or …

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Proving Domestic Violence

In Domestic Violence by Sarah Hink

If you were to ask any law enforcement officer what their least favorite emergency call is, there is a good chance the response will be a domestic disturbance call. This is because officers are walking into the unknown, where an abuser’s anger has already perilously escalated and there is a real chance that person is armed. The courts of North Carolina take domestic violence incredibly seriously as well. This is entirely justifiable based on the nature of family violence and how unpredictably dangerous abusive people can be. Some counties have specialized courts that hear domestic violence cases, and in other places, courts try to set aside specific dockets to hear the cases. At New Direction Family Law, our focus is on protecting victims of domestic violence. One of these tools …

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Planning a Safe Separation

In Domestic Violence, Health, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Separations are difficult for everyone. Even if a couple separates amicably, there is still a loss in the end of a long-term relationship. But for people in physically or emotionally abusive relationships, separations are remarkably more difficult to navigate. This is because in addition to the pain of ending a relationship with a person you love, you are also facing great risk of physical or psychological harm, or even death. This is why if you are considering separating from an abusive spouse, you should plan with your safety in mind. Domestic Violence is About Control Domestic violence is very real and it is incredibly serious. In fact, in North Carolina, there have already been forty domestic violence-related homicides in 2017. Under North Carolina law, domestic violence includes the following acts …

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Obtaining a Protective Order

In Domestic Violence, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

Domestic violence in a relationship can feel terrifying, surreal, and exhausting. It can make you feel shameful, embarrassed, defensive, and helpless. However, if you are experiencing domestic violence in your relationship, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and you are not alone. In fact, the laws of North Carolina establish several options to protect you, both in criminal and in civil law. Your first line of protection is the police. If you or your children are in immediate danger, you need to call 911. Law enforcement takes emergency domestic disturbances incredibly seriously. A result of police involvement can involve incarceration and the filing of criminal charges against the perpetrator of the violence. A Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO) In addition to police involvement and possible criminal charges, there …