Unfortunately, domestic violence is a more frequent problem than one may think. Domestic violence is generally defined as: the imminent fear and/or the infliction of: an assault, physical injury, sexual abuse, harassment, or stalking. Anyone in North Carolina who is a victim of domestic violence may want to think about obtaining a court order of protection (otherwise known as a restraining order). Protection orders are typically used in domestic disputes and family law matters to protect a party who is in imminent fear of or has been a victim of domestic violence. An order of protection requires that the perpetrator stay away and refrain from any sort of contact with the victim. If the perpetrator violates the order of protection, the perpetrator will be found in contempt of court, likely resulting in his or her arrest, completing community service or paying a fine.
Although an order of protection can afford some safety and peace of mind to a victim or potential victim of domestic violence, an order of protection is merely a piece of paper and is designed to provide emergency relief for those needing immediate safety. Accordingly, if a perpetrator really wants to inflict harm on a victim, even with an order of protection, the perpetrator may still be able to access the victim. Although there are no guarantees, the good news is that many perpetrators abide by orders of protection that are issued against them. Therefore, although orders of protection provide a certain level of protection to victims, victims should be aware of an order of protection’s limitations.
Domestic Violence And Children
Sadly, instead of violence being inflicted on a spouse or loved one, sometimes, the violence is inflicted on a child. In these instances, the parent of the abused child should bring a child order of protection on behalf of the child. In situations where abuse allegations are made against a child’s parent, a guardian ad litem is generally appointed for the child to act in the child’s best interest. It should be cautioned that in cases where false allegations of child abuse are made, it is possible that the party making the false allegations could lose custody of his or her child altogether.