A Practical Guide
for Domestic Violence Survival
Domestic violence can be physical or emotional. It can include
slapping, punching, beating, kicking, or threats to hurt you. It can include
forcing you to have sex or keeping you from any of the family’s finances.
Violent behavior towards anyone is wrong no matter who does it. It is not okay
for family members to hurt you. Sometimes this type of behavior is
against the law.
(Click on desired topic or simply scroll down to read document)
What is domestic violence under North
How can a victim of domestic
violence get help?
the difference between civil and criminal law?
How does the law
protect people against domestic violence?
How does a
domestic violence victim use the criminal justice system?
Tips and points for the
How does a
domestic violence victim use the civil justice system?
Additional tips and points
Information for American
Indian North Carolinians
Indian Tribe organizations
Help is available in North
Note: The materials contained on this website are for information and
educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Please contact
your Legal Aid of North Carolina office or a private attorney if you need to
speak to an attorney regarding your particular situation. Please see the
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNDER NORTH
1. Physical Abuse Under the Law.
....The legal definition of "domestic violence" in North Carolina includes
kicking, beating, grabbing, using a weapon against you (like a knife, gun
a hammer), slapping, hitting, pushing, shoving, pulling your hair,
you (on the floor, down stairs, etc.) or throwing something at
you or near
you in order to scare you.
Physical Abuse may also be:
- Forced sex
- Destruction of your possessions to make you believe
physically hurt (like ripping your clothes or
destroying your personal
- Threatening behavior.(For example, if someone lets
know that if
you get up from a chair or leave a
will be hurt physically.)
2. Emotional Abuse Under the Law.
....The legal definition of "domestic violence" also includes placing
fear of imminent serious bodily harm by threat of force.
This may include
threats of violence and statements (such as “I will hit
you”; “If you leave,
I will hurt you;” or “If you tell anyone, I will kill you.").
violence does not include threats to take custody of the children
leave the home.
3. Child Abuse Under the Law.
....The legal definition of "domestic violence"
also includes violence
your children, such as actions that cause marks or bruises on your
children. Domestic violence may also include sexual abuse of children,
fondling or rape as domestic violence. The abused children need
not be the
children of the abuser in order for you to file a child abuse
HOW CAN A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE GET HELP?
1. Call the police.
.....If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can call the
county sheriff for help. BE READY TO PROTECT YOURSELF
HARM FOR AT LEAST A SHORT WHILE. The police are only
required to respond to your call as soon as
practicable. The law
requires the police to provide you with:
Law enforcement officers are trained to know and be able to tell you
the closest shelters for domestic violence victims are located.
are hurt, in need of food, clothing or counseling, the police can
to a place for help.
Law enforcement officers should take you where you need to go
to get help,
whether it be the home of a friend or family member,
shelter or hospital. The police can also take you to the magistrate’s
office if you want to file
a criminal complaint. If you can do it safely,
leave the house and take your
children and important things with you.
Law enforcement officers are authorized by law to do whatever is
reasonable to protect you from harm. The police can arrest your
partner if they have good reason to believe that your partner
has hurt you. They can also arrest your abusive partner if they believe
he has violated a
court order by hurting you or coming to your house.
Collect evidence that you have been beaten or threatened.
When the police arrive, give them torn or bloody clothing, pictures or any
other evidence of an attack (if you have any). Be sure to give the
police names and phone numbers of any witnesses to your attack. If
there is a court order that your partner has violated, give the police a
copy of it so they can arrest him for violating the order. You should also
give the police a copy of separation, divorce or custody papers, if there
Ask the police to make a report of what happened.
Ask the police to take pictures of where you were hurt and to conduct an
investigation. You may ask for the police officer’s name and badge number so
that they can be a witness for you in any civil or criminal proceeding you
may bring against your abusive partner. Write this information down so you
can report it to the district attorney if you sign a criminal complaint. If
you do not press criminal charges against your abusive partner, the police
may be less likely to help you in the future and your abusive partner may
believe that he or she can get away with hurting you.
2. Use the Court System.
....To get started with the court
system, you can contact a:
If the police officer does not file criminal charges against your abusive
partner, you can go to the local magistrate and sign a criminal complaint.
Look in your local phone book in the blue pages for the telephone number and
location of the magistrate’s office.
CLERK OF COURT
You can go to your local clerk of court’s office to file a request for a
civil complaint and motion for a domestic violence protective order. A local
domestic violence assistance agency should be able to assist you in
preparing these forms.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAM.
You can contact your local domestic violence agency. Click
to view a list (by county) of some of the
domestic violence service
providers in North Carolina.
local Legal Aid of North Carolina office for assistance. Click
to view the list of
Legal Aid of North Carolina offices
by county. Most offices can only help with
civil remedies, meaning they can help you with domestic violence
You can contact an attorney for legal advice. If you cannot afford an
attorney, then you can contact your
3. Protect you children's safety.
....If you leave the residence, take your children with you. Do
them with your abusive partner. You may have difficulty or
getting custody of the children if they are left with your
If you have left the house and can come back
to get the
do so. It is better to talk to an
attorney before you
move with your
children out of North Carolina.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CIVIL & CRIMINAL LAW?
.....In a criminal lawsuit, the state is prosecuting a crime against an abusive
partner. As the victim, you are a witness to the crime. The purpose of a criminal action is to punish the abusive person. A
is a lawsuit between you and your abusive partner. There is no prosecutor. The purpose of a civil action is to get certain types of help for you as a
result of the domestic violence which may happen again. Civil cases are
not a part of a person's criminal record. You do not need to decide
between civil and criminal law -- you can use both for the same incident of
HOW DOES THE LAW
PROTECT PEOPLE AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
1. You can bring CRIMINAL CHARGES if:
2. You can file a CHILD ABUSE COMPLAINT if:
3. You can file for CIVIL RELIEF (a “Protective
Order”) in the
Note: If you are in a relationship with someone of the same sex,
you are only eligible for a protective order if you are living
with (or used to live with) the person who is abusing you.
HOW DOES A
VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE USE THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM?
.....As a victim of domestic violence, you can bring criminal charges, which will
be prosecuted by the State of North Carolina through the local district
attorney’s office. The purpose is to punish the person who is abusing you for
breaking the law, as opposed to providing you with civil relief. [The next
section below talks about the
system]. To start a criminal case, you can:
1. Report the crime as soon as possible.
.....If you can get to a telephone, call
the police. The police must
respond to your call. If the police
witness the assault, they are
required by law to make an arrest
on the spot. Of course, you
should never remain in a place of
danger in order to allow the
police to witness the violence. They can make an arrest even if
they don’t witness it if they have
enough evidence to believe an
assault occurred (This is called
2. Be prepared to tell what happened.
.....If the police do not witness the
assault, and do not find “probable
cause,” you may have to go to the
magistrate’s office to file
charges. You will need to
describe to the magistrate what
happened to you and take along with
you any witnesses to the
domestic violence and any evidence
of injury or abuse, including
pictures, torn or blood-stained
clothes and medical reports. Upon
hearing your sworn testimony, the
magistrate should issue a
criminal summons or a warrant, even
if you do not have physical
evidence of abuse.
3. Know the crimes.
....It might be helpful for you to know
what kinds of crimes the
person abusing you could be charged
with. There is no crime in
North Carolina that is called
“domestic violence.” The crimes could be one or more of the following crimes:
"Rape and Sexual Offense."
A person is guilty of raping you if they have vaginal intercourse with you
by force and against your will. If the person that rapes you uses or
displays a dangerous weapon, causes serious personal injury on you, or is
aided in the crime by one or more other persons, the crime is first degree
rape and the abuser may be sentenced to life imprisonment. A person is
guilty of a sexual offense against you if they force you to have sexual
activity (other than vaginal intercourse) by force and against your will.
"Assault" (can be a misdemeanor assault or a felony assault).
Misdemeanor assault is an act or an attempt, with force and violence, to
do immediate physical injury to you and to put you in fear of immediate
bodily harm. The assault will result in a more serious penalty if the person
who is assaulted is a child under 12, or, if a male over 18 assaults a
female [The name of that crime is "assault on a female.”]. A person
who assaults you with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and/or cause
serious injury on you has committed a felony assault, which is more serious
than a misdemeanor and will probably result in a more serious penalty.
"Domestic Criminal Trespass."
It is important to understand that domestic criminal trespass can happen
only after you and your former partner have begun living at separate
residences. A person is guilty of domestic criminal trespass if he or she is
a former partner and comes to your residence after your separation and after
you have asked him or her not to come to your residence, or, if he or she
refuses your request to leave your residence after your separation.
A person is guilty of communicating threats against you if, without
lawful authority, he or she threatens to physically injure you or damage
your property, the threat is spoken or in writing, and is made in such a way
that it would cause a reasonable person to believe that it is likely to be
carried out (and you actually believe that the threat will be carried out).
The offense of stalking occurs when a person willfully and continually
follows you or is in your presence without legal purpose and with the intent
to cause emotional distress to you by placing you in reasonable fear of
death or bodily injury. To be illegal, the stalking must occur more than one
"Harassing Phone Calls."
Using profane, indecent or threatening language against you over the
telephone or on your answering machine is illegal. This includes annoying or
harassing you by making false statements over the telephone or by repeated
TIPS AND POINTS FOR THE
Make sure you know the trial date.
.....You will need to be present in case the prosecutor needs you to testify
about what happened. You will be contacted by the District Attorney’s
(DA's) office with the court date and/or you may contact their office. The DA's phone number is typically listed in the blue pages of the telephone
The District Attorney is your attorney.
.....You do not need to hire an attorney since the district attorney represents
your interests. You may contact the district attorney’s office before the
trial date to discuss the case and the evidence that you will be able to
present. If there are any witnesses to the domestic violence that was
committed against you, you should let the district attorney know as soon as
possible and request that they be subpoenaed to appear at the trial. You should give the district attorney the names and badge numbers of police
who arrested your abusive partner or who responded to your call.
Possible Continuances are possible.
.....Criminal cases are often continued for several weeks or even months in
order to allow the abuser (defendant) to seek counseling, to hire an
attorney or to subpoena witnesses. It is important to keep track of the date
on which the case is scheduled to return and, once again, to go to court at
the appropriate time that day.
The Punishment will depend on the circumstances.
.....If the person abusing you (the defendant) is found guilty, the punishment
will depend on the circumstances of the case. .The decision is up to the
judge, but the judge will consider the district attorney’s recommendation.
.Depending on the type of crime and background of the abuser, the abuser
could be sentenced to a long prison term, even up to life imprisonment. .In
the typical domestic violence case, however, the abuser will be found guilty
of a misdemeanor and will receive a suspended sentence (which means he won’t
have to serve the sentence unless he violates certain conditions), a fine
and/or probation.. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may
want to ask the court to order the abuser to go to an abuser treatment
program (if there is one available in your area), substance abuse counseling
and/or to stay away from you.
- If you do not appear on the day scheduled for trial, your case
dismissed. Also, you may be ordered to pay court
- Be present and ready to have all witnesses available on short
Cooperate with the district attorney and tell him or
everything you can
remember about the domestic violence
- If the abuser attacks you again (after he or she has been found
can take out another warrant for their arrest and
should report the attack to
his or her probation officer.
HOW DOES A
VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE USE THE CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM?
1. What can the Judge order?
You can request and may be able to
get the court to order one or
the following things:
- That the "abuser" not assault, threaten, harass or contact you.
- Your possession of the residence so that the abuser cannot return
and/or an order that he or she leave the residence. suitable
than the former residence.
- Law enforcement assistance in evicting the abuser from the
and/or in returning you to it. temporary custody of the
minor children. (You
may be asked to show that the children are
in danger of violence or abuse).
temporary child support.
- Temporary payments for your support if you and the abuser are
(most judges will not award this immediately unless you
are handicapped or
unless other very special and compelling
circumstances exist). possession of
- Possession of your furniture and other household goods, as well
Possession of certain other items of personal property (for
tools you use for your work or your daughter’s
- Your attorney’s fees for the civil case paid for by the abuser.
- That the abuser be prohibited from purchasing a firearm.
- That the abuser attend and complete an approved abuser
if it is within a reasonable distance.
If you relocate with or without your children because of
an act of
domestic violence, the court is not allowed to use that
you in determining custody or visitation. In custody
court will consider acts of domestic violence, the safety
of your child
and safety of either party from domestic violence by the
The court may:
2. How do you get a Domestic Violence Protective Order?
Step One: Prepare and File the Forms.
.....The Clerk of Court at your local county courthouse should be able to give
you the appropriate forms to get started. Ask for a “Complaint and Motion
for Domestic Violence Protective Order” form and a “Civil Summons” form. When you describe the domestic violence against you on the complaint form,
start with the most recent act of violence first; then go back in time and
describe each violent act. Add extra sheets if you need to do so. If
the violence has caused any injuries such as bruises, knots or wounds,
include that information in the appropriate place on the complaint (usually
Number 4 on the complaint). Also, be prepared to tell the judge about
your injuries and any injuries to your children. If your abusive partner is
violent while using alcohol and illegal drugs, tell the judge in the
complaint and remind him or her of it in court. It is very important
to show the judge on paper why you are afraid now. The judge will read your
complaint and may ask you more questions in the courtroom. In the complaint,
remember to ask for all the kinds of relief you want.
Step Two: The Ex Parte Hearing.
.....If you are in serious, immediate danger, you should ask the judge to issue
a temporary or ex parte order without contacting your abusive
partner. The order protects you while the summons and complaint are
being served by the sheriff to your abusive partner and before he has the
chance to come before the judge. The order is only good for ten (10) days
and the ex parte hearing usually takes place within 24 hours of
filing the complaint. Take steps to protect yourself during this time,
especially if you think your abusive partner will hurt you because of the
actions you are taking to protect yourself.
Step Three: Service on the Abuser.
.....The law requires that the abuser receive a copy of the complaint and
motion by personal delivery from your local sheriff. This process is called
“service.” The judge cannot go to Step Four (below) on the day hearing until
the defendant-abuser has been served. You can give the documents to
the sheriff, who typically will attempt service quickly. Give the
sheriff as many addresses and phone numbers to reach the abuser that you can
gather. It is also helpful to give a full description of the abuser
and to complete a form called “Identifying Information about Defendant.”
Step Four: The 10-Day Hearing.
.....A full hearing with you, your witness, the abuser and the judge will take
place ten (10) days after the summons is issued and the complaint is filed,
assuming the abuser has been served with your complaint by then. The judge
will decide what type of relief he or she should order for the next year. It may be the same as the relief you got in the temporary order or it may be
different. Be sure you bring with you to the courtroom any witnesses
to the domestic violence against you and all evidence you can gather, such
as pictures, medical reports, answering machine messages, and/or torn
clothing. Be prepared to describe to the judge in detail what the
abuser has done to you and why you are still afraid of him or her now. If the papers are not served on the abuser by the date of the day hearing,
the judge may issue you a (or another) temporary, ex parte order and
the judge will then give you another court date.
A mutual protective order is one in which both you and the
defendant are ordered to stay away from each other, not call
each other, etc. The court cannot issue (and you do not have
agree to sign) a mutual protective order (i.e. an order that
might be violating) unless:
- the defendant has also filed a complaint against you;
- the court finds that both you and the defendant acted
aggressors (and not in self-defense).
3. Ask the Judge for Relief.
.....Be certain that you tell the judge exactly what relief you
a list of all the kinds of relief you want and read it to
the judge. If
your circumstances have changed or if you have changed your
since you filed the complaint, you can change the type of
ask for. The judge can (although he or she may not) order
be provided with any of the relief described above or
form of relief. The judge can also order that the abuser
or attempt to assault you, not harass or intimidate you,
not go to
your work or residence and/or not follow you around.
4. Keep Your Court Order.
.....Once you obtain an order, keep it with you. The local law
enforcement authorities must keep copies of these orders on
you should keep a copy in your purse, attaché case or other
place near you so that you can show the police or
you have a domestic violence order should the abuser
5. What happens at the End of One Year?
.....Your order for civil relief will only last for one (1)
year. You can get
the order extended beyond one year if the abuser continues
to be a
threat to your physical safety. Forms are available at the
court’s office. Again, you must write specifically what the
that was in violation of the order, and you and the abuser
appear before a judge. The judge may tell the abuser that
if he or
she violates the order, they will be jailed; or the judge
may find that
the order has already been violated and sentence the abuser
or order that he or she pay a fine. Be aware that a
violation of a
court order is also a criminal offense and that you can
magistrate’s office and have the abuser arrested
police should arrest the abuser if you show them you have a
order and they reasonably believe that the abuser has
The judge may extend your original court order or any
order for up to one year. If you have a valid
protective order from
another state, it will be enforced by North Carolina law
agencies. Also, other states will enforce your North
and it is a good idea to get a “certified” copy from the
6. What happens if the Abuser Violates the Order?
a) You can file a “motion for entry of contempt.”
Your safety may depend on showing the abuser that you
enforce your legal rights. You can contact an attorney to
for entry of contempt or you can file a motion
available at the clerk of courts office. Again,
specifically what the abuser did that was in
violation of the
you and the abuser must appear before a judge. The
judge may tell
the abuser that if he or she violates the
will be jailed; or
the judge may find that the order has
sentence the abuser to jail or order that he
or she pay
b) You can call the police.
A violation of a domestic violence court order is a
you can contact the magistrate’s office or the police
arrested immediately. The police should arrest
abuser if you show
them you have a court order and they
believe that the
abuser has violated it. Also,
if you have to flee a
state due to the
actions of the abuser, the abuser may
committed a federal crime
and you can call your local U.S.
office (look for the
telephone number in the blue pages of
- 7. What happens if you contact the abuser?
.....If the judge has ordered the abuser not to contact you, try
from any telephone or personal contact with the abuser. Although
you are not violating the law, the judge may be less likely
the order. If you have let the abuser into your home (even
have started living together again), you can re-apply for
further domestic violence occurs, but the abuser may be
to take a second court order seriously.
ADDITIONAL TIPS AND POINTS
You may file Criminal and Civil Charges at the Same Time.
You can press criminal charges and file a civil complaint at the same time
based on the same incident.
Often bruises and marks will not appear until days after you are hurt.
can take pictures at any time to show injuries from the domestic
and show them later in court. The person who takes the picture
does not have
Go to the Hospital or Doctor If You are Injured.
Seek medical treatment if you are physically injured. The hospital
doctor’s office will make records of your injuries. Get copies of all
medical documents and keep them with you so they can be used in court
later. Medical reports can be important evidence at either a civil or
See a Counselor.
You may find it helpful to talk with someone outside of your circle of
family and friends. Seek counseling from volunteers at a shelter or other
domestic violence assistance program and get any documents or reports
your visit for use in court later. Counseling may be important to
your recovery from the domestic violence against you, and may help you
your feelings. A list of domestic violence agencies are listed at
the end of
Be Prepared for Court.
Know what you want to say to the judge. Most judges are busy; thus,
should tell him or her the most recent and most violent episodes first.
Be aware that your abuser can ask you questions in court. Keep calm, if
can. Your testimony may be all the evidence you need. You do not
have to have proof of injuries or witnesses to the violence against you,
but they are helpful. Bring photographs of your bruises or friends who
violence or the black eye if you can. If you have been
threatened with violence, tell the judge why you were afraid of the threat.
Do not get upset
if the abuser contradicts what you say. Many judges
have seen many cases of
domestic violence and will expect
contradictions in the testimony. If the
judge believes you are truthful,
he or she should give you some form of
domestic violence relief.
Protect Bank Accounts.
After you are in a safe place, get money out of bank accounts to which
your abuser has access. Collect important personal belongings after you
leave the house, if you can safely. Remember, the police can and should
escort you back to your home to get your belongings. Also, you can ask
judge for an order allowing you to get the household goods and other
personal things you need.
Call a Lawyer for Help with the System.
The Clerk of Court and the local bar association can help you locate
attorneys in your area who can help you file a civil complaint, get a
temporary order and advise you on how to press criminal charges.
you do not have to go through the legal system by yourself if
you do not
Stay with relatives or at a Shelter.
If you do not think it’s safe for you to stay in your home, stay with
or relatives. In cases where staying with friends or relatives may
safe, consider going to a shelter. Most counties have emergency
temporary shelters for victims of domestic violence and their children.
list of those programs are at the
end of this webpage.
American Indian North
Some of the above information applies to all North Carolinians. In some cases,
however, there are differences for American Indian North Carolinians, in that
some tribes follow state law and others follow tribal and federal law.
The Eastern Band of Cherokees is the only federally recognized tribe at this
time in the state and recently established its own tribal court.
All other tribes in North Carolina are state recognized as described under NC
General Statutes 143B and follow North Carolina state law. Those tribes include
the Lumbee, located in Robeson, Scotland, Hoke, and Bladen counties; the
Haliwa-Saponi, located in Halifax and Warren counties; the Meherrin, located in
Bertie county; the Waccamaw Siouan, located in Columbus and Bladen counties; and
the Indians of Person County, located in Guilford, Mecklenburg, and Cumberland
There are some differences in jurisdiction (which court handles which kinds of
cases) depending on what tribe a person belongs to and depending on whether one
or both parties in a domestic violence incident belong to a tribe. The following
set of questions should help you understand these differences. Other parts of
this section can help you understand the legal actions that are available to
1. What if I am an enrolled member of the Cherokee tribe and am assaulted by
my boyfriend or husband who is also an enrolled member of the Cherokee tribe?
.....The Tribal Court would have jurisdiction whether you want to get a protective
order (civil) or to file criminal charges if the assault occurred on the
Reservation. If you are off the reservation, you can still go to the
Tribal Court to file for a protective order, or, you can file for a protective
order at the District Court where the assault occurred. A serious assault that
occurs somewhere other than the Reservation may result in prosecution by the US
Attorney’s office nearest to where the assault occurred.
2. What if I am a member of the Lumbee or any other state recognized tribe and
am assaulted by a Lumbee or any other member of a state recognized tribe?
.....You would go to the local District Court in the County where the assault
occurred for a protective order and/or you would go to the local magistrate to
file assault charges. The police can also file charges if they are called and
believe that a crime has been committed.
3. What if I am not Indian but I live on the Cherokee Reservation with my
boyfriend who is an enrolled member of the Cherokee tribe and he abuses me?
.....You can get a protective order (civil action) from the Tribal Court. Any
criminal actions will also be handled by the Tribal Court. In some serious
cases, however, the federal court may also get involved. If you are a member of
another tribe in North Carolina and are assaulted by a member of the Cherokee
tribe, you can get a protective order from the tribal court if you live on the
Cherokee Reservation. If you don’t live on the Cherokee reservation but are
assaulted by a Cherokee, you can go to the local District Court for a protective
order or to the magistrate to file criminal charges.
4. What if I am an enrolled member of the Cherokee and live on the Cherokee
Reservation and my boyfriend, who is non-Indian, comes onto the Reservation and
.....You would go to the Tribal Court for civil action (to get a protective order).
Any criminal behavior, like an assault, would be handled by federal court and be
prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville. If your boyfriend
was arrested and taken into custody, he would be held at the jail facility in
5. What if I am a non-enrolled member of an-Indian Tribe and am assaulted by
another non-enrolled member of another Tribe?
.....You would go to the District Court in the county where the assault occurred.
The rest of this section explains what steps you can take to file civil or
NOTE: If you have a protective order, the order should be recognized and
enforced by any Tribe or law enforcement agency in the country. It doesn’t
matter which court issued you the order. You should be able to show a copy of
the order to any law enforcement official and have the order enforced. For
example, if you are an enrolled member and you are assaulted while on a trip to
Charlotte, the Charlotte Police Department should enforce your order. In North
Carolina, the only FEDERALLY recognized tribe is the Cherokee. The Cherokee
tribe follows tribal and federal law -- not state law. The Lumbee, Haliwa-Saponi,
Meherrin, Waccamaw Siouan and Indians of Person County are all STATE recognized
tribes and follow STATE LAW.
There are Indian Tribes and organizations across the state that can provide
information and referrals to you, and in some cases, support services like
housing and employment services. There are a few things to know about how
the Cherokee Tribal Court works. There are advocates who can help explain the
process to you and make sure you are not alone. You can call the domestic
violence agency listed in the table that follows for help.
In order to reach the Tribal Court, call: (828) 497-7874 or (828) 497-7720.
INDIAN TRIBE ORGANIZATIONS
HELP IS AVAILABLE IN NORTH
Almost every county in North Carolina has a domestic violence service
provider that assist victims of domestic violence by providing information,
support and emergency response, like emergency shelter and confidential
to view a list (by county) of some of the
domestic violence service
providers in North Carolina.
You may also need an attorney. Legal Aid has attorneys who can serve victims
of domestic violence, regardless of how much money they make. You can call
the Legal Aid office in your area (click
to view the list of Legal Aid of North Carolina offices by county). Most offices can only help with civil
remedies, meaning they can help you with domestic violence protective orders.
You might also contact your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office,
which is typically listed in the telephone book in the county section of the
The materials contained on this website
are for information and educational purposes only and do not
constitute legal advice.
Also please note that Legal Aid of North Carolina does not
provide legal assistance by E-mail. Contact your Legal Aid of
North Carolina office or a private attorney if you need to speak
to an attorney regarding your particular situation.
Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that
provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in
order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers
to economic opportunity.