- What are my rights as an employee who is the victim of domestic violence?
Your employer should not penalize you for taking time off to go to court for a Domestic Violence Protective Order (DVPO). You are required to follow your employer’s usual time-off policy or procedure. If your employer requires written documentation to explain your absence, you can ask the clerk of court to provide you with a note.
- What are my rights as a tenant who is the victim of domestic violence?
A landlord cannot discriminate against a tenant because the tenant is a victim of domestic violence.
You may terminate your lease on 30 days’ notice to your landlord if you give your landlord a copy of either 1) a DVPO or 50C order that was issued after the defendant was served (this does not include an ex parte order), 2) a criminal order that prohibits the defendant from having contact with you, or 3) an Address Confidentiality Program card. You must also give your landlord a copy of a safety plan, which you can create with the help of your local domestic violence or sexual assault agency. Once you submit these documents, your landlord can charge you rent for the following 30 days, but cannot charge other fees for early termination, such as refusing to return your security deposit.
If the perpetrator is not on the lease for your home, you can request that your landlord change the locks and do not need to provide documentation of the domestic violence. The landlord is required to either change the locks or allow you to do so. If the perpetrator is on your lease, the landlord is required to change the locks if you give the landlord a copy of a DVPO or other court order requiring the perpetrator to stay away from your home. The landlord can charge you for the cost of changing the locks.
- What is the Address Confidentiality Program?
The Address Confidentiality Program is a program operated by the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office to keep the addresses of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking out of public records. You can learn more about this program and sign up by calling (919) 716-6785 or visiting the program’s website. Your local domestic violence agency also may be able to assist you in signing up for this program.
- What is the Victim Compensation Program?
The Victim Compensation Program is a program run by North Carolina state government to pay the medical bills and lost wages of victims resulting from crime, including domestic violence and sexual assault. You can learn more about this program and submit an application for assistance by calling (919) 733-7974 or visiting the program’s website. Your local domestic violence agency also may be able to assist you with your application.
- How will getting a DVPO affect my child custody case?
Judges are required to consider domestic violence as a factor in child custody cases, whether or not there is a DVPO. The judge will also consider all other relevant factors in the case, including anything that affects the best interests of the child. You should consult with an attorney about your specific situation.
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