Domestic Violence in New Jersey

Domestic violence is a pervasive issue in the United States of America, the state of New Jersey not being an exception. According to statistics, in the U.S., almost 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. This means that in one year, more than 10 million people are physically abused by an intimate partner. In all states, there are laws that make domestic violence a crime, but unfortunately, these laws have not managed to stop domestic violence. In NJ, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA), which was passed in 1991, declares domestic violence a serious offense. In this article, we explain the legal meaning of domestic violence, the legal protections available for victims of domestic violence, and how a family law attorney can help.  

Defining Domestic Violence

Often, people assume domestic violence is a single crime. In New Jersey, the term “domestic violence” is defined as a habit of abusive behavior that one person uses to manipulate or control the other. This can be physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse. The New Jersey PDVA protects people who have been abused by a spouse or former spouse, someone with whom they have a child in common or are having a baby, someone they are dating or have dated, or any current or household member. According to New Jersey law, the following are some of the crimes that are considered domestic violence offenses;

  • Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Cyber harassment
  • Homicide
  • Sexual assault
  • Criminal restraint
  • Burglary
  • Harassment
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Terroristic threats
  • Lewdness

Legal Remedies for Victims of Domestic Violence in NJ

In New Jersey, there are legal remedies aimed at protecting domestic violence victims. One of the legal remedies available for domestic violence victims is restraining orders. Here are the two types of restraining orders one can file in New Jersey;

  • A temporary restraining order (TRO) provides immediate protection. It can be granted after the judge finds it necessary to protect a victim’s health, life, or well-being. Typically, a TRO lasts until the hearing for a final restraining order. 
  • A final restraining order (FRO) is granted after the victim tells their side of the story through evidence, testimony, and witnesses. This order does not expire. It exists until either of the parties introduces a motion to end or alter the order and the motion is granted.

New Jersey law empowers courts to issue various provisions in restraining orders, including the following;

  • Prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim
  • Ordering the abuser to move out of the shared house
  • Granting temporary child custody to the victim

A Family Law Attorney Can Help With Obtaining a TRO or FRO

A qualified family law attorney can help you with obtaining a TRO or FRO by guiding you through the legal process, including completing necessary paperwork, collecting evidence, and presenting a strong case in court.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, it is crucial to protect yourself and your loved ones. To get help with seeking a TRO or FRO, contact our New Jersey family lawyers at The Trabosh Law Firm.

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