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North Carolina domestic violence takes its toll

North Carolina readers might know someone who was a victim of domestic violence abuse. The problem is more prevalent than readers might suspect, and has the potential to end in tragedy. For example, domestic violence accounted for at least 73 homicides in North Carolina in 2011. Of those victims, 15 were children. Firearms were also used in over two-thirds of the cases.

Part of the tragedy surrounding this criminal offense is that the victims may not be aware of resources for help. Yet local organizations are available, such as the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

In addition, a number of state laws offer protections to victims who seek confidentiality from former spouses or significant others. For example, the Voter Records Protection Law allows a voter to keep his or her address confidential under certain conditions, such as a protective order.

A domestic violence lawyer might also prove to be a lifesaving resource. An attorney might know what evidence is required to obtain a protective order against a spouse, requiring that individual to move out of the family home and avoid further contact or communication.

Yet there is a flip slide to these protections. Domestic violence allegations might be abused for many reasons. Perhaps a spouse simply wants the other individual to be forced out of the house. Perhaps a spouse is seeking leverage against the other in a surprise divorce. Unfortunately, an individual who is arrested for domestic violence might have an uphill defense ahead. An attorney might know exactly what evidence will be most damaging in the eyes of a jury, and offer strategies for defense.

Source: wtop.com, “NC man sentenced in deaths of wife, stepson,” Eric Tucker, June 10, 2013