Domestic Violence

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.Emergency Exit Graphic

About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of:

  • Age
  • Economic status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality

Helpful Resources

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: 800-422-4453 or 800-4-A-CHILD
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673
  • North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault - (NCCASA): 800-233-4357
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) Online hotline: rainn.org
  • United Way Crisis Helpline: 800-233-4357 or 1800-233-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.Emergency Exit Graphic

Victim Assistance Unit

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: 

  • Counseling referrals
  • Crime Victim Compensation
  • Obtaining a restraining order
  • Temporary shelter
  • Other concerns regarding domestic violence

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. Dial 911 for emergencies.

VAU Resources

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.Emergency Exit Graphic

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.