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Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence is one partner's consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.

Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of the systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. Today, victims no longer have to suffer alone. Many local, state and national agencies are now available to assist those who seek help. Below you will find contact information for some of these agencies:

Community Intervention and Educational Services: 336-776-0322
Department of Social Services (Child Protective Services): 336-703-2287
Family Services Inc.-(Sexual Assault Crisis Line): 336-722-4457
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453 or 1-800-4-A-CHILD
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault - (NCCASA): 1-800-233-4357
RAINN: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network online hotline:
United Way Crisis Helpline: 1-800-233-4357 or 1-800-233-HELP
If you would like more details regarding these resources, please contact the Winston-Salem Police Department Victim Assistance Unit at 336-773-7741 or 336-773-7860.

The Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) of the Winston-Salem Police Department assists victims and their families with issues resulting from domestic violence. The VAU can assist with information regarding: obtaining a restraining order, temporary shelter, Crime Victim Compensation, counseling referrals, or other concerns regarding domestic violence. Please feel free to contact the VAU Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at 336-773-7860 or 336-773-7741. Dial 911 for emergencies.

Definition of Domestic Violence

In North Carolina, a domestic relationship is defined as:

  • A current or former spouse.
  • A current or former dating relationship.
  • A current or former roommate or household member.
  • A parent/child grandparent/grandchild relationship.
  • Individuals with a child in common.

The crimes that can be committed in a domestic relationship range from assault, simple assault, assault on a female, harassing phone calls, communicating threats, protective order violations, and many others. It is important to note that domestic violence includes verbal, emotional and psychological abuse.

Be Prepared

  • Plan an emergency escape.
  • Keep money hidden to get away quickly.
  • Make extra keys to the car and house. Leave them in a safe and secret place.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers in a safe place.
  • Keep extra clothing for yourself and the children at the house of a friend, relative, or neighbor.
  • Know someone you can tell about the violence and who will call the police if they hear suspicious noises coming from your house.
  • Teach your children how to dial 911 to contact the police and fire departments.
  • Develop a code word for use with your children and friends so they will know to call for help.

Links & Resources

The links that are not part of the City of Winston-Salem web site will open in a new window

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Safe on Seven Center for Forsyth County

Safe on Seven: (SOS) Forsyth Domestic Violence Center is a multi-agency approach to provide services for victims of domestic violence. The Center is located at 725 Highland Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC. The Safe on Seven Center provides a "one-stop shop" for domestic violence victims by bringing together key service providers from the court system, law enforcement, victim advocates, legal advocates and social services, thus providing access to a variety of services to victims in one centralized location. Contact information for Safe on Seven Center: 336-776-3255 (office) and 336-723-8125 (24-hour crisis line).

50B / Restraining Order Laws

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North Carolina General Assembly - Restraining Order laws
Legal definitions of domestic violence and statutes outlining obtaining a restraining order.

50B/50C Complaint Information
Plaintiffs filing for a 50B/50C can fill out paperwork prior to responding to Safe on Seven. The Domestic Violence section is fourth from the left in the top blue navigation.

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Family Services of Forsyth County

Comprehensive counseling services which include: pregnancy, individual, couple, stress, depression, anxiety, grief, loss, divorce, communication and crime victimization, as well as sexual assault and domestic violence counseling. Also provides adoption services and information.

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National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is comprised of people dealing with the concerns of battered women and their families.  NCADV represents both rural and urban areas.  Our programs support and involve battered women of all racial, social, religious and economic groups, ages and lifestyles.  NCADV opposes the use of violence as a means of control over others and support equality in relationships and the concept of helping women assume power over their own lives. 

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North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence

The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) is a community of agencies and individuals who serve battered women and their children. NCCADV was founded in 1981 with 21 participating programs and now includes over 90 member programs. Areas of support to member programs include technical assistance, training, information about public policy initiatives, and activities to increase public awareness.

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Victim Assistance in North Carolina - SAVAN

SAVAN (Statewide Automated Victim Assistance and Notification) helps victims of crime get custody status and court information about offenders. It is a free 24-hour per day service that is available in both English and Spanish. In addition, SAVAN automatically notifies registered victims of important events, such as release of an inmate or scheduled court events.

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Victim Assistance Unit, Winston-Salem Police

The Victim Assistance Unit (VAU) of the Winston-Salem Police Department assists victims and their families with any issues which arise as a result of crimes such as rape, homicide, assault, etc.  The VAU works as intermediaries in finding financial assistance, counseling, providing safety planning, and assisting with any questions regarding the legal process, along with information on case status and updates.  Please feel free to contact the VAU Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 336-773-7860 or 336-773-7741.

Emergency Exit from web page - National Network to End Domestic Violence provides a wide variety of information on sexual and domestic abuse, prostitution, stalking, and numerous other topics. This website also provides court forms, information on case preparation, and court house locations. All information is also available in Spanish.

North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault

NCCASA provides resources for sexual assault victims and service providers.

Emergency Exit from web pageNorth Carolina Crime Victim Compensation

This statewide program assists innocent victims of crime with medical bill reimbursement and loss wages that resulted from their victimization. NC Crime Victims Compensation may also assist families of innocent victims of homicide with funeral expenses.

Emergency Exit from web pageCommunity Intervention and Educational Services

Community Intervention and Educational Services provides advocacy and services for victims of crime including domestic violence.

Emergency Exit from web pageLegal Aid of North Carolina

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, non-profit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters (protective orders, child custody, divorce, etc.) to low-income people.

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