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Domestic Violence Protective Order

*The information here is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult your attorney for legal advice.*

What is a Domestic Violence
Protective Order?

It is a civil document signed by a
Judge to help protect you and your children from someone who is abusing or
harassing you.

A protective order has many names
and may also be called:

  • Ex-parte
  • 50-B
  • Restraining order
  • Protective order
  • DVPO (Domestic Violence Protective Order)

Does my relationship qualify?

Plaintiff and defendant must
be one of the following:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Persons of the opposite sex who live together
  • Parents of a child in common
  • Related as parent and child or grandparent and
  • Current or former household members
  • Persons of the opposite sex who are in or have been in
         a dating relationship
*If your relationship does not meet the requirements listed above, you may be eligible for a similar protective order called a "Civil No-Contact Order" (50C). Stalking and/or sexual harassment fall under the 50C protective order. Speak to a REACH advocate 24/7 for more info. 

Does my situation qualify?

Under NCGS 50B-1(a) one of the
following has to have occurred in the last couple of weeks:

  • Attempting to cause or intentionally causing me bodily
         injury (an assault)
  • Placing me in fear of imminent bodily injury (a
         direct threat)
  • Continually harassing me and causing extreme emotional
  • Committing a listed sexual offense against me or my
*Every situation is different, this list is examples only. If you are unsure whether a protective order is right for you, call a REACH advocate 24/7 for more information. 

What can a DVPO do?

It may order an abuser to do the

  • Stay away from you, your home, work, and anywhere you
         may be.
  • Leave the residence. If you live together, you may be
         granted possession of the residence, or you may request an officer to
         accompany you to retrieve your belongings.
  • Protect your pets and/or give you primary care &
         control of your pet.
  • Surrender all firearms and ammunition to the county
         Sheriff and not be able to purchase or possess a firearm.
  • Give you use and possession of the vehicle.
  • If the children witness an incident or are injured
         during a domestic dispute, it may grant temporary custody of the
         minor children.

How to Apply for a DVPO

  • See a victim advocate at REACH during normal business
         hours to complete the paperwork.
  • Provide as many details as you can about the abuse you
         have suffered. You will need to include specific dates and any
         documentation you may have such as phone calls or text messages, and how
         it has affected you and your children.
  • Have a hearing in front of a district court Judge and
         explain why you are in immediate need of a protective order.
  • Return to court for another hearing within 10 days.
         Your abuser will receive a copy of the protective order and will be
         notified of the court date.
  • Obtaining a protective order is free of charge.

Enforcing a protective order is a
team effort!

  • Report any violation to the police or magistrate
         immediately. The defendant will be arrested for violating the DVPO.
  • Carry a copy of your DVPO with you at all times. Keep
         one at work, at home, at your child’s school, in your car, and one in your
         purse. (Law enforcement can make an arrest more easily if they can see
         that a protective order is in effect and that it has been violated.)
  • Avoid making deliberate contact with your abuser. A
         DVPO orders the abuser to stay away from you and not have any contact with
         you. Therefore, you should not contact them either!
  • The DVPO should only be one aspect of your safety plan.
         Consider working with your victim advocate on additional resources to keep
         you and your children safe!
  • Do not take chances with your personal safety!
  • Take steps to protect yourself from abuse!

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