In North Carolina, the definition of domestic violence is very broad. Most commonly, it includes attempting to cause (or causing) bodily injury, and placing someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. There are other definitions in the statutes and judges decide whether there is domestic violence on a case-by-case basis.

When a case meets all of the legal requirements, a judge may grant a domestic violence protective order called a DVPO, meant to protect victims by prohibiting the defendant from assaulting, threatening, abusing, following, harassing, or interfering with the victim and/or children who live with the victim. DVPOs can also order a defendant to stay away from the victim’s residence, school, place of employment and anywhere else that would be applicable.

DVPOs are available for those in specific kinds of relationships, such as spouses, former spouses, people who live together or have lived together, or those who are related or have children together. Although DVPO cases are civil cases, the violation of a DVPO is a crime. As a separate matter, a defendant might also face criminal charges for his or her behavior that led the court to enter the DVPO in the first place.

Center for Family Violence Prevention in Greenville

REAL Crisis Center in Greenville

Personalized Domestic Violence Safety Plan (form DSS-5233)

Resources for those facing Domestic Violence (form AOC-CV-323)

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