Domestic Violence

We must end the cycle of violence within families. You do not deserve to be abused.

Call 911 and report domestic violence. Law enforcement will respond and investigate. However, if you want to obtain a warrant on your own, go to the nearest magistrate’s office.

Because we want to end the cycle of violence, cases are not automatically dismissed, even if requested by the prosecuting witness. The Assistant District Attorney will decide whether or not charges will be dismissed.

At the first setting of the case, Defendants are questioned concerning appointment of counsel. Defendants are entitled to be represented by lawyers. If a person is likely to go to jail and they cannot afford an attorney, they are entitled to court-appointed counsel. The first time a case is on the calendar for trial, the case may be continued until a later court date because a defendant does not have an attorney. Sometimes the Defendant will decide to plead guilty at their first appearance.

If a person is arrested on what is termed a “domestic violence offense”, the person is held in jail without bond for 48 hours until a District Court Judge in court can have a bond hearing, whichever is less. This means bond cannot be posted for this period of time and the person will stay in jail. If a defendant is in jail and you are involved, you should appear at the next session of criminal court so that the judge can hear from you about bond.

There are some resources that may be of assistance to you. In Brunswick County: Hope Harbor Home at (910) 754-5856 is available for shelter and services. In Bladen County: Southeastern Family Violence Center at 910-862-7806. In Columbus County: Families First at (910) 642-5996 is available for shelter, consultation for victims of violence and abuse, and other services. The shelter can also refer you to other sources of assistance.

Legal Services of the Lower Cape Fear is also available for some legal assistance at (910) 763-4954 or 1-800-672-9304.

If you are being abused but say that you cannot leave though your safety is at stake, the District Attorney’s Office would say to you as follows:

  1. That we are afraid for your safety;
  2. That we are afraid for the safety of your children;
  3. That it will only get worse;
  4. That we are here for you when you are ready to leave;
  5. That you don’t deserve to be abused

If you are concerned for your safety but cannot leave, call the Domestic Violence Shelter and develop a personal safety plan. Studies show that men who batter their wives are likely to assault their children. At least half of all battering husbands also batter their children. The more severe the abuse of the mother, the worse the child abuse.

Battering is not about anger. Battering is behavior that is not acceptable.

NC G.S. 14-226 says that it is a class H felony to intimidate or attempt to intimidate or deter a person acting as a witness from attendance at court, so please contact the Domestic Violence Unit immediately if anyone does anything to keep you from coming to court.