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Domestic Violence Assistance

Domestic Violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used to maintain power and control in a relationship. This abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional. Besides relatives, a "relationship" can include anyone you currently live with, have lived within the past, or anyone you are or used to be intimately involved with.

Facts About Domestic Violence

  • In a national survey of over 6,000 American families, 50 % of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abuse their children.
  • Child abuse is 15 times more likely to occur in families where Domestic Violence is present.
  • Men who have witnesses their parent's Domestic Violence are three times more likely to abuse their own wives than children of non-violent parents. The sons of the most violent parents are 1000 times more likely to become wife beaters.
  • Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self esteem, nightmares, self blame, and aggression against peers, family members and property.
  • A comparison of delinquent youth found that a history of family violence or abuse is the most significant difference between the two groups.
  • Over 3 million children are at risk of exposure to parental violence each year.
  • Older persons are battered also. Two/Thirds of elder domestic abuse and neglect are women with more than half of all reported elder abuse reportedly caused by a family member.
  • In West Virginia, a domestic homicide occurs every ten days.
  • In West Virginia, one woman is raped every day.
  • In West Virginia, thirty-three percent of all murders are Domestic Violence related.
  • The State of West Virginia ranks second highest in the nation for Domestic Violence incidents.
  • No one has the right to batter or abuse you.

Domestic Violence Protection Order

If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, one action you may consider is to file a Protection Order in Magistrate Court. A Domestic Violence Protection Order is a civil order that can:

  • Order the abuser not to hurt or harass you;
  • Give you temporary custody of your children;
  • Give you temporary possession of your residence;
  • Order child and spouse support;
  • Order the abuser to stay away from your place of employment and away from your children's school. 

How to get an Emergency Protection Order

  • Go to the Marshall County Magistrate Court (511 Sixth St., Moundsville) and tell the clerk that you want to file a petition for an Emergency Domestic Violence Protection Order.
  • Explain your need for protection to the clerk and ask for help in completing the forms required. You do not need witnesses, an attorney, or a police report to file. Filing for a Family Protection Order is free.
  • You will be expected to initial all statements that are true; describe the violence you abuser threatened to do or did; and initial what action you want the court to take.
  • After completing the forms, you will meet with a Magistrate. Try to explain the exact time, date, and extent of your injuries and why you fear the abuser. If an Emergency Order is granted you will receive a copy of the order, and the abuser will be served with an order to appear before the Family Court Judge within 10 days.
  • At the second hearing, the Family Court Judge will listen and question both you and the abuser. Be
  • prepared to tell the judge when, where and with what you were beaten and why you are afraid of the abuser. 
  • If you have any witnesses, take then to court with you. The judge will then decide whether to issue a Final Family Protection Order that could last up to 180 days. (This may be extended if you file for divorce before the order expires)
  • Keep a certified copy of the Family Protection Order with you at all times. A valid protection order is effective in every county in West Virginia and every state in the United States.
  • If the abuser breaks the Family Protection Order, call the police to file a complaint charge.

The police can file criminal charges of either Domestic Assault (threats or attempts of physical abuse) or Domestic Battery (actual physical contact) when probable cause exists that a crime has occurred. The police do not have to witness the crime to file said charges. This is a separate proceeding from that of a Domestic Violence Petition and can only be dismissed prior to a hearing by a motion from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.

Have Questions? Ask this Agency!
(304) 845-3580
(304) 843-0320

Marshall County Courthouse
600 Seventh Street
Moundsville, WV 26041
United States