Domestic Violence FAQs Union County Family Lawyer
Leaving a partnership in which domestic violence is involved is difficult and requires conscious preparation on the part of the victim.
Leaving a partnership in which domestic violence is involved is difficult and requires conscious preparation on the part of the victim. Even a partner who has been victim to physical, emotional, financial, sexual, or psychological abuse may struggle to leave the relationship and fear seeking help. This sense of isolation and stuckness faced by domestic violence victims is far-reaching: while there were over 63,000 cases of reported domestic violence by the New Jersey State Police in 2016, the last year for which data is available, thousands of more cases go unreported. Victims of domestic violence cover the spectrum of subgroups in New Jersey – victims include young and old people across the gender, race, and socioeconomic spectrums.
Whether you have exited an abusive relationship and living situation; or you are suffering in silence for fear of physical or emotional harm, financial instability, or the safety of your children; there are resources in New Jersey that can support your safe transition to a new life.
What does New Jersey law consider domestic violence?
The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act specifies nineteen actions that are chargeable as domestic violence:
- serious threats
- sexual assault
- criminal sexual contact
- criminal restraint or physically denying movement
- false imprisonment
- criminal coercion
- cyber harassment, according to J.S.A §2C:33-4
- criminal mischief or stealing another’s property
- criminal trespassing
- crimes that involve the risk of death or serious physical injury of someone protected by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991
- contempt of restraining order
If an above act is committed by one of the following people in your life, you may have legal grounds to pursue a domestic abuse restraining order and file charges against the person:
- spouse or former spouse
- dating partner or former dating partner
- current member of the household, or former member (such as an adult child)
- biological co-parent or adoptive co-parent of your child, including during pregnancy
How can I safely exit an abusive relationship?
It is imperative to carefully seek support when you are in an abusive relationship. Fortunately, the New Jersey and national domestic violence helplines offer an abundance of information and resources to help you safely transition.
- New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7
What is a safety plan?
Hotline counselors are trained to guide you through the step-by-step process of exiting an abusive household, helping you consider the details you will need to keep in mind and the preparations you will need to make, and outfitting you with invaluable tools such as a safety plan and preparation checklist.
A safety plan is a personalized preparation for exiting an abusive living situation. It includes practical advice and tools to ensure that every aspect of your safe transition from the home is addressed with consideration of the danger of planning such an exit secretly. A hotline counselor will guide you through such considerations as
- What to pack in an exit travel bag
- what documents you must have ready to go in your travel bag
- how to financially prepare for your split
- what contact and other information to have close at hand
- ways to subtly prepare your children for the exit without letting them know about it, which could put them and you in danger
- advice on how to seek support from a trusted family member or friend for the exit
- suggestions about where to go directly following the exit
- best ways to keep your pets safe during and after the transition
Can I file a restraining order to protect myself from an abusive relationship?
While filing a restraining order can be intimidating – to such an extent that many victims of domestic violence do not take the step of filing one despite being in physical, emotional, financial, or sexual harm – the municipal officials charged with supporting your processes, such as police station personnel and courthouse staff, are trained and eager to ensure your wellbeing. They are specifically trained and experienced in working with victims of domestic violence and provide the necessary support to ensure that your safety and that of your family will be ensured throughout the filing and issuing process.
Call our Union County Domestic Violence Attorneys Today
At Law Office of Edward S. Cooper, our experienced legal team represents clients across Summit, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, Linden, and Union County in all domestic violence cases.
To meet with a member of our firm today regarding your domestic violence case, please contact us online or throughout the NJ office by calling (908) 481-4625 today for a confidential consultation today.