Recent statistics released by the North Carolina Justice Department have Attorney General Roy Cooper calling for increased enforcement of domestic violence laws for both men and women throughout the state. According to the Justice Department, 122 people were killed in incidents of domestic violence in 2012.
Almost twice as many women as men fell victim to fatal domestic violence episodes in 2012. Wake County saw more domestic violence murders than any other North Carolina County, with Mecklenburg County not far behind.
Those most at risk of a fatal domestic violence attack, based on last year’s statistics, are couples who have lived together in the same household. Of those who were victims of a fatal domestic violence incident, seven had, at one time, taken out a protective order against their attacker. Only three had active protective orders at the time they were killed.
A protective order is essentially a stay-away or no-contact order against the accused. If the person accused of domestic violence is ordered to stay away from a school, a copy of that protective order will be sent to the school.
Protective orders can be secured in North Carolina both with and without letting the accused attacker know. However, a judge must set a hearing in order to take testimony from the accuser prior to issuing a domestic violence protective order. If an ex parte protective order is granted, a second hearing will be scheduled before a permanent protective order is granted.
Protective orders can be an important safety tool for victims of domestic violence, but they can also be a life-changer for someone who has been falsely accused of injuring or threatening a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife or other partner.
Source: WRAL, “Domestic violence homicides increased last year in NC,” April 9, 2013