What is domestic violence? It could be any of the following:  Actual or threats of physical or sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse (name calling or putdowns), stalking (excessive calls/texts/emails, monitoring daily activities, using technology to track a person’s location), or financial abuse (withholding money, ruining credit, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job).

According to the Centers for Disease Control (2010): 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 1 in 10 women in the United States will be raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime. Approximately 16.9% of women and 8% of men will experience sexual violence other than rape by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. An estimated 10.7% of women and 2.1% of men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime. Nearly half of all women and men in the United States will experience psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Over half of female and male victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner experienced some form of intimate partner violence for the first time before 25 years of age.  The children, families, and friends of these victims also suffer greatly by either witnessing the abuse or being a support system for the victim.  Unfortunately, many of the children who experience abuse between their parents grow up to be victims themselves or even become an abuser.

North Carolina domestic violence statutes provide specific procedures to obtain relief.  For a detailed guide to dealing with domestic violence, visit http://ncja.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/e46483fe-5359-4889-aab2-b8e8935462f9/DV-and-the-law-in-NC-ABA.aspx  to review the North Carolina Bar Association publication, Domestic Violence: A Practical Guide for Survivors.  We are also available to help, so please contact us if you need assistance.  As always, if you are in an emergency situation, call 911.