N.C. must shine a light on domestic violence

As 2015 draws to a close, adequate protection is more theoretical than it has ever been, even though all statistics show a surge in the need for such protection in cases of domestic violence.

Op-Ed (North Carolina)

John Wester
Charlotte Observer
December 25, 2015

Tags: Domestic Violence

Organizations mentioned/involved: Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) (North Carolina), Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (formerly Legal Services of Southern Piedmont) (North Carolina), Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC)


As Ms. McLeod’s stories illustrate, domestic violence knows no income class. Nor can we suggest it belongs to only Democrats, Republicans, liberals, or conservatives.

It plagues all social strata, all races, all political bents, and all religions. This makes all the more remarkable that domestic violence, especially how to stop it, secures so little of our attention.


Many victims of domestic violence live below the poverty line. As a result, this year N.C. legal aid groups – Legal Aid of North Carolina, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, and Pisgah Legal Services – carried more of the load than ever.

Following the most recent session of the General Assembly, the cuts to Legal Aid’s budget have required reductions in force of 48 lawyers and paralegals. Legal Aid of North Carolina has closed six field offices since 2010, with another likely to close in 2016.