Criminal No Contact vs DVPO

In mid April, I filed charges with our county magistrate following an altercation initiated upon me by my husband in which 911 was called. He was arrested for 14-33 ©(2) Assault on a female, removed from our home and released on bond under a criminal no contact order pending a hearing mid August. We have one adult child high school senior and one minor teen at our residence. As the plaintiff, I sought clarity to the “no contact” order. I understand that it is what it says, no contact with me. It provides nothing prohibiting my husband from coming into our residence if I am not home, nothing about the visitation with our son, nothing about support. It has been difficult and I am scared of him. He is a retired US Marine Martial Art instructor and also has been diagnosed with PTSD and cognitive problems. We have been married 20 years and the last 2-3 years I noticed sweeping changes in him, his mood and his aggression. He is medicated but cannot be trusted based on his escalating maltreatment over the the past 10 months. Yes he holds a job and receives retirement and disability (both). I am not currently employed and thus he has used finances to crush me in every manner possible removing all access to marital funds and benefits after I refused to sign away my share of his military retirement in a tentative SA which never came to fruition. After his arrest, he was directed by his attorney after our water was shut off, to fund our mortgage, electric and water and provide grocery cards. This is the extent and I receive nothing more. Yes, I am looking for employment. Yes I am registered with the NC Employment Security Commission and local staffers. Yes I have applied and even been interviewed. It is a very competitive area and lack of credentials has posed a real problem. Now, after 20 years of marriage, 8 years of it alone while he was deployed, I am strapped with no child support (hearing in September), no gas money, no funding for phone or internet, no money for our pet care, our sons education needs, medical deductibles -Nothing. Worse than the money is that he expresses every detail of our pending SA and DV Case to our 15 year old son and often uses him to obtain items in our home or to relay subtle threats and messages to me. Our son is 15, strong and a foot taller than me. Each time he comes back from his fathers, he is more aggressive than the last. Our son was present when my husband attacked me back in mid April. Most recently, my son came into the house and asked in anger why I was home (my truck was not in the driveway), he thought I was not home and he was going to let his dad come in and pick up a few things (Defendant has already obtained his items with officer support in April). Further my son told me his dad showed him the “order” and it is only against me, not the house. I presented my concern over this incident to the District Attorney’s Office who will bring it up in court. This is the second time he has used our son in a significant manner to relay such messages or imply these tentative actions. That same evening, I was scared to death he would show up again. I realize my son is a victim of manipulation and I don’t blame him, however, most frustrating is my inability to obtain a DVPO based on this most recent incident involving our son. I tried. I went to the clerk of court and requested the 50 (b) forms. They directed me to the local women’s shelter. I went there. An advocate stated that she did not feel I was in imminent danger because I had a criminal no contact order in place and therefore she could not help me. I stated that the no contact order was limiting and did not set specific boundaries, especially about our house, our pets and son. She said despite the verbiage in 50(b) judges do not usually rule on those matters and she could not help me. Now I have such anxiety, I am scared that if I am offered a job, the minute he knows I am not home, he will enter our home, take my dogs, destroy things or cause other problems as he has before. I am trapped and no I cannot afford an attorney at this time. I am trying to sell household items just to stay afloat and keep my cell phone turned on. Can I proceed with the 50(b) immediately even though there is a no contact order in place? Can I base my DVPO on recent incidence using my son as a tool to illicit ongoing fear and also show medical history justifying my fear of his instability? Can I simply print the forms and take them in myself? Is a DVPO less likely to be ordered because it has been three months since he was arrested and I am basing this request upon ongoing intense trepidation resulting from his third person communications? I have sought help from every resource I can conceive of and day-to-day it just gets worse. I don’t understand, there is so much literature floating around in NC on DV, so much offering to help but in situations of intense emotional or psychological abuse on both a spouse and more important on a developing teen, it seems a blind eye is turned. This is unbelievable. I was a Victim Advocate Volunteer for over 10 years. I take DV seriously and never thought I would be in the center of it. In fact I don’t think I noticed it early enough. Regardless, now that I do, why must I wait until my husband hurts himself or someone else beyond repair? Also, having to seek financial support from social services simply because my husband can engage a “starve out the spouse” tactic is unacceptable. I contributed much to our family including years of employment in lucrative positions despite moving around the country to support his career. I just want to feel safe again, I just want to be able to move forward with my life. I don’t want to my son coming home more angry after every visit telling me what his father CAN do. Please advise. Yes, I did present this in a longer statement to our DA. I am waiting to hear back but wanted the opinion of someone outside our rather rural county.

You can file for a 50B even though there is no contact as part of his release conditions on the criminal charge. The more time that passes from the time of the incident and filing of the DVPO the less likely the court is to grant the protective order.

Understood, is logical. I wish the magistrate had offered the 50(b) option before he was arrested, I only learned of it about a month ago…but of course my ignorance of this option may not make a viable excuse to the court for the delay… thank you