How Can I Protect Myself from Becoming A Domestic Violence Victim?

Knowing what to do if you are confronted with a potentially abusive situation is critical to your efforts to protect yourself from domestic abuse. Abusers often behave in unpredictable ways, with seemingly minor incidents or disputes quickly escalating to violence.

Whether you still live with an abuser or potentially abusive person, or if you have already sought refuge from an abusive environment, it is critical to create a plan of action in case you are confronted with a potentially abusive situation.

Taking out a protective order (commonly referred to as a “restraining order”) is an additional step you may take to protect yourself from an abusive individual. North Carolina courts issue two types of protective orders:

  • Ex parte or temporary protective order (TPO) – This type of protective order may be issued immediately in an emergency situation, or within as few as 72 hours after a request is made. These orders are issued without the abuser being present at the hearing, and the order is temporary.
  • 50B domestic violence protective order (DVPO) – A full hearing is required for the issuance of this type of protective order, and its duration is much longer – often up to one year.

A violation of either type of protective order can result in criminal sanctions. In order to obtain either type of order, you have to show the court why you need protection. An attorney can help you fulfill this requirement.