Domestic violence has been a hot topic in the state of New Jersey for several years now. According to an article published in 2015, eight out of every 10 domestic violence cases filed in a New Jersey municipal court were dismissed for lack of evidence or because the victims chose not to follow through with the charges. In 2014, there were approximately 52 deaths in New Jersey related to domestic violence, and, in 2013, the state was ranked 21st in the nation for homicides involving domestic partner relationships. These statistics were so alarming that the New Jersey Supreme Court formed a task force dedicated to taking a hard look at domestic violence and suggesting changes that need to be made to the law.
As a result of the task force, legal professionals are now required to undergo training on domestic violence issues. In addition, many new organizations and resources have come to the forefront to take on the task of assisting victims and rehabilitating abusers.
There are options available through the court to help protect domestic violence victims. One of those is a restraining order. This is not a criminal action and is handled by a family court. The purpose of a restraining order is to prohibit contact or communication between an abuser and a victim. There are three different types of restraining orders. A temporary restraining order prohibits contact for up to 10 days between the parties. An emergency restraining order may be issued outside normal business hours and when a victim is in immediate, imminent danger. A final restraining order is issued by a judge after receiving testimony from both parties. The judge will decide if the order will be temporary or permanent.
If you are the victim of any form of domestic violence, an attorney can provide support. They can offer guidance for the ongoing protection of you and your family.