If you are a victim of domestic violence, be sure to clear your browsing history after visiting this page.
If you’ve found your way to this space, it is probably because you have some interest in legal resources that are out there for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in North Carolina. This blog will be a place where I will share insights and observations about my work assisting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. But here, in this first post, I would like to take a moment to especially welcome those of you who are experiencing violence, abuse, or harassment in a personal relationship and who are looking for help.
You are not alone. The statistics on the pervasiveness of domestic violence are staggering. The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which is a statewide agency who tracks statistics on intimate partner abuse, estimates that one in three women and one in four men have been the victims of abuse in their intimate relationships. You can find more statistics from the Coalition here.
Help is available. Violence, harassment, assault and abuse are NOT just a normal, acceptable part of a relationship. It is very likely that your abuser has made you feel that his or her abuse is your fault. Let me be clear: there is nothing you can do to deserve physical or emotionally violent behavior. Abusers know how to manipulate victims into feeling responsible for how they are acting, but you have taken a powerful step in researching what help is available, and I hope you continue to research the dynamics of abusive relationships. You will probably experience many “aha!” moments as you realize that abusive behaviors follow certain patterns. You will recognize that your experience is, sadly, common in relationships where there is a power imbalance.
If you’re looking for help, you can call your local crisis agency hotline. In Durham, the Durham Crisis Response Center operates a 24-hour crisis line. The number is 919-403-6562 in English, and (919)519-3735 (in Spanish/Espanol).
For help in a different part of North Carolina, you can visit the Coalition against Domestic Violence for listings of agencies that are available to help you in your part of the state. That information is available here.
And you can reach out to me in the “Contact Us” section of the webpage. Whether you are ready to take the first step to ending an abusive relationship, or just starting your journey by researching available help, I wish you peace and safety. Every human being deserves to live free of abuse, violence, assault, stalking and harassment. That includes you.