Reaching out to domestic violence victims

Domestic violence is a prevalent issue throughout the nation affecting individuals in all of our communities. As a matter of fact, domestic violence is not limited to a specific age, economic status, race, religion or nationality.

The month of October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So this week in the Legal Corner, we are going to begin discussing some of the history, issues and effects associated with domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month was derived from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981. The purpose of the Day of Unity was to provide an opportunity for sponsors and supporters working to end domestic violence to connect throughout the nation.

The Day in Unity evolved into an entire week full of activities on the local, state and national level specifically focused on the prevention of domestic violence. The first official Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in October 1987. Additionally, in 1989 a public law was passed by the United States Congress establishing the month of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In North Carolina, domestic violence occurs when someone deliberately intimidates, batters, physically assaults, sexually assaults or inflicts any other abusive behavior a loved one or intimate partner. Domestic violence can also include psychological violence and emotional abuse.

Many times, actions of domestic violence occur as a result of one person attempting to exercise some form of power or control over another person. In most cases, domestic violence consists of acts of abuse against children or persons involved in a relationship.

Most commonly, domestic violence occurs against women and children, however, every relationship and situation is different and in some instances men can become victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence can have lasting effects on the victim’s life, and unfortunately in some of the worst cases, can eventually lead to the death of a victim. Even in cases where the victim is able to escape from the abuse, there are still some lifelong mental and, in many cases, physical effects of the abuse.

Please remember that this information is only meant to inform our readers. This article does not include all of the detailed information and laws related to domestic violence and victims of domestic violence in North Carolina. If you have any additional questions about the North Carolina laws associated with protecting victims from domestic violence, please consult an attorney or local counselor.

If you are in need of assistance with getting out of a violent situation, please call your local law enforcement or the local domestic violence service provider. As always: Be informed. Be prepared.