Learn the Basics about Domestic Violence Protection OrdersIf you or a loved one is the victim of domestic violence, this information may assist you in taking the next step toward protecting yourself or someone you love from future acts of abuse. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office is here to help you take that step.
This information is intended to only answer basic questions about obtaining a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO). The State of North Carolina has very specific laws designed to protect victims of domestic violence. Some victims may choose to utilize our civil legal system to seek relief from the courts. For a detailed explanation of the North Carolina laws pertaining to Domestic Violence Protection Orders you should refer to NC General Statute – Chapter 50B.
Did you know?
If you are a victim of domestic violence you may be eligible for a domestic violence protection order. Obtaining a DVPO is an important decision and you must be sure that it is the right one for you.
You must first determine if you qualify.
To qualify you must share a personal relationship with your abuser. The law says that he or she must be one of the following:
- current or former spouse
- parent, child, or in some cases grandparent, or grandchild
- have a child in common
- current or former household member
- person of the opposite sex who you are dating or have dated
- attempted to or intentionally injured you
- placed you or a member of your family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
- harassed you to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress
- committed crimes of rape or sexual offense
A Protection Order...
- is a court order signed by a Judge
- is a document that may help protect you and prevent future acts of violence
- is a directive intended to limit actions and behavior of the offender
- is a civil action that may legally require the abuser to do things necessary to protect you or your minor child
- is a court document that allows civil and criminal penalties when the order is violated
A Protection Order...
- is not a criminal warrant
- is not a personal body guard. You must maintain a realistic understanding that a protection order, although legally binding, does not act as a “shield.” It is a tool used to hold the abuser accountable for his or her actions and assist law enforcement in quickly and efficiently providing aid to you when the order is violated.
For more information about obtaining a DVPO, please visit the Durham County Clerk of Court located at 510 South Dillard Street in Durham, or call any of these extensions for help:
Links to More information
- Durham Crisis Response Center
- Durham Social Services Adult Crisis Services
- Domestic Violence Personalized Safety Plan [PDF]
- Domestic Violence Learn the Basics [PDF]
- Victims Assistance