What is Domestic Violence?


In our Raleigh divorce law office we often get this question. It seems like a simple question, but many people only think domestic violence means physical abuse. There are many ways victims, or minor children, can suffer from domestic violence.
Below is a portion of N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 50B-1, which defines domestic violence:

(a)        Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense:

(1)        Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury; or

(2)        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, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress; or

(3)        Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.2 through G.S. 14-27.7.

Domestic violence protection is not limited to just spouses, you will note the reference to “personal relationship” noted above. Below is the portion of N.C. Gen. Stat. Section 50B-1 defining what constitutes a “personal relationship”:

(b)        For purposes of this section, the term "personal relationship" means a relationship wherein the parties involved:

(1)        Are current or former spouses;

(2)        Are persons of opposite sex who live together or have lived together;

(3)        Are related as parents and children, including others acting in loco parentis to a minor child, or as grandparents and grandchildren. For purposes of this subdivision, an aggrieved party may not obtain an order of protection against a child or grandchild under the age of 16;

(4)        Have a child in common;

(5)        Are current or former household members;

(6)        Are persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, a dating relationship is one wherein the parties are romantically involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context is not a dating relationship.

Where can I get help with domestic violence near Raleigh?

If you, or someone you know, is a victim of domestic violence there are agencies available to assist:

Wake County – Interact of Wake County, 24 hour crisis line number: 919-828-7740 and 866-291-0855 toll-free

Johnston County – Harbor, Inc., crisis line number: 919-631-5478

Franklin County – Safe Space, Inc. 919-497-5444 or 1-800-620-6120 toll free

Nash County – My Sister’s House, 24 hour crisis line number: 252-459-3094 and 888-465-9507 toll-free

These agencies are a great resource for emotional support and assistance with planning an exit strategy. You can speak with them about providing temporary shelter as well. Wake County has a new Domestic Violence Unit located on the 5th floor of the Wake County Courthouse (not the Wake County Justice Center) that can be of assistance for those seeking help in Wake County.

We hope this information is of assistance to anyone dealing with domestic violence in their lives.

Our Raleigh Family Law Team is Here to Support You

Domestic abuse is no small matter. Make sure you speak to an attorney to understand your rights. We can be reached at 919-301-8843 or by completing the form below.

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