Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a pattern of physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, which includes, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or financial control. Domestic Violence can continue over a long period of time and becomes more frequent and more severe over time.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

New Jersey’s Legal Definition of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence means the occurrence of one or more of the following criminal offenses upon a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence act of 1991,” P.L. 1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.)

Homicide
N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et seq.
Criminal Sexual Contact
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3
Assault
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1
Lewdness
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4
Terroristic Threats
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3
Robbery
N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1
Stalking
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10
Criminal Mischief
N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3
Kidnapping
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1
Burglary
N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2
Criminal Restraint
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2
Criminal Trespass
N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3
False Imprisonment
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3
Contempt
N.J.S.A. 2C:29-9b
Criminal Coercion
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-5
Harassment
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4
Sexual Assault
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2
Cyber-Harassment
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1

*In addition, domestic violence acts can also include any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence act of 1991,” P.L. 1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.)


Who can be a victim of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence acts are established by the relationship between the offender and the victim. A person protected by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is 18 years of age or older, or who is an emancipated minor, and who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member. Any person, regardless of age, sex, or physical/psychological condition, who has been subjected to domestic violence by one of the following actors:

  • A person with whom the victim has a child in common
  • A person with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant.
  • A person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship

What legal remedies can I seek if I have been a victim of domestic violence?

You have the right to file a civil complaint under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence act of 1991,” P.L. 1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.), along with a criminal complaint. Both complaints should be filed for your protection since the civil complaint is designed to protect you and the criminal complaint is designed to punish the abuser.


What is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

A victim of domestic violence has the right to seek a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), along with a criminal complaint.

A TRO is an order that is issued by a judge who is satisfied that demanding circumstances exist enough to excuse the failure of the victim to appear personally and that sufficient grounds for granting the temporary restraining order have been shown. To protect the victim from the defendant, the judge may grant within the temporary restraining order that the:

  • The abuser is forbidden from returning to the scene of the Domestic Violence as well as other locations to be determined.
  • The abuser is prohibited from future acts of Domestic Violence.
  • The abuser is forbidden from possessing a firearm or weapons.
  • The abuser is forbidden from having any communication or contact with the victim or the victim’s relatives in person, via the telephone, or in writing. This includes making or causing anyone else to do so, on the abuser’s behalf.
  • The abuser is required to pay temporary child support to victim.
  • The abuser is required to reimburse the victim for any medical expenses incurred due to injury caused by defendant.
  • The victim is given exclusive possession of the residence.
  • The victim is given temporary custody of the children.

How do I get a TRO?

  • Contact the Family Part of the Superior Court in your county Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.).
  • On weekends, holidays, and after 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can request a TRO from the Municipal Court in your area - this is done through your State or local police department.

To receive information about contacting a court for a TRO, call your State or local police department or call the Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-572-SAFE (7233).

Within 10 days of the TRO the court will schedule a hearing. Both you and your abuser will have a chance to testify. The judge will consider both testimonies before issuing a Final Restraining Order.


Domestic Violence Agency Contacts

The New Jersey State Police does not offer counseling services, however if you are experiencing abuse, please know there is help and that you are not alone. Every county throughout New Jersey has at least one domestic violence program providing a range of services to survivors of domestic violence and their children by trained and compassionate domestic violence advocates.

If you have experienced domestic violence and would like to speak with someone about it, you can call the 24-hour Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-572-SAFE (7233) or look below to contact your local domestic violence program.

Many services are free, confidential and provided regardless of gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, ability level or immigration status.


The following are Domestic Violence Programs by Counties:

ATLANTIC COUNTY

AVANZAR (formerly the Women’s Center Violence Intervention Program (VIP)
24 Hr. Hotline: 1-800-286-4184
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Text Line: 609-569-5437
Web: avanzarnow.org/


BERGEN COUNTY

Center for Hope and Safety
24 Hr. Hotline: 201-944-9600
Web: www.hopeandsafetynj.org

Bergen County Alternatives to Domestic Violence
24 Hr. Hotline: (201) 336-7575
Web:  www.co.bergen.nj.us/divisions-of-alternatives-to-domestic-violence/alternatives-to-domestic-violence


BURLINGTON COUNTY

Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities
24 Hr. Hotline: (609) 871-7551
Web: www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/locations/burlington-county/

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA DELAWARE VALLEY
Phone: 856-854-4660
Web: www.voadv.org


CAMDEN COUNTY

Camden County Women's Center
24 Hr. Hotline: (856) 227-1234
Web: www.njaconline.org/13.html
https://sites.google.com/a/njaconline.org/camden-county-women-s-center

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA DELAWARE VALLEY
Phone: 856-854-4660
Web: www.voadv.org


CAPE MAY COUNTY

CARA, Inc. (Coalition Against Rape & Abuse, Inc.)
24 Hr. Hotline: (609) 522-6489
Toll free: 1-877-294-2272 (CARA)
Web: www.cara-cmc.org


CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Services Empowering the Rights of Victims Cumberland County Domestic Violence Services
24 Hr. Hotline: 1-800-225-0196
Access line: 1-877-922-2377 (1-877-9-ACCESS)
Web: www.centerffs.org


ESSEX COUNTY

Access Family Services
24 Hr. Hotline: 862-444-3126
Web: https://essexcountynj.org/ceas_directory/access-family-services/

Essex County Family Justice Center
Phone: 973-230-7229
Web: www.essexcountyfjc.org

The Safe House
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (973) 759-2154
Web: www.rwjbh.org/clara-maass-medical-center/treatment-care/domestic-violence/
www.essexcountynj.org/ceas_directory/safe-house/

The Rachel Coalition of Jewish Family Service
Division of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest New Jersey
24 Hr. Hotline: 973-740-1233
Web: www.rachelcoalition.org


GLOUCESTER COUNTY

Services Empowering Rights of Victims (SERV)
24 Hr. Hotline: 1-866-295-SERV (7378)
Access Line: 1-877-922-2377 (1-877-9-ACCESS)
Web: www.centerffs.org


HUDSON COUNTY

Womenrising, Inc.
24 Hr. Hotline: (201) 333-5700
Web: www.womenrising.org


HUNTERDON COUNTY

Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center (DASACC)*
24 Hr. Hotline: 908-453-4181
Toll free: 1-888-998-4033
Web: www.dasacc.org

*DASACC is now providing Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault services for both Warren and Hunterdon Counties


MERCER COUNTY

Womanspace, Inc.
24 Hr. Hotline: (609) 394-9000
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Text Line: (609) 619-1888
Web: www.womanspace.org


MIDDLESEX COUNTY

Women Aware, Inc.
24 Hr. Hotline: (732) 249-4504
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Text Line: 1-876-658-7713
Web: https://womenaware.net/

 

Manavi Inc. *
24 Hr. Hotline: 1-732-435-1414
Web: www.manavi.org
* A non-profit organization for women who trace their cultural heritage to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.


MONMOUTH COUNTY

180 Turning Lives Around
24 Hr. Hotline: 1-888-843-9262
Office: 732-264-4111
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Text Line: 732-977-2766
Web: www.180nj.org


MORRIS COUNTY

JBWS - Safety, Support & Solutions for Abuse
24 Hr. Hotline: 1-877-782-2873 or 1-877-R-U-ABUSED
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Text Line: 973-314-4192
Web: www.jbws.org

 

Morris Family Justice Center (MFJC)
Phone: (973) 829-4050
Assistance outside of office hours: Domestic Abuse: 1-877-R-U-ABUSED
Web: www.morrisfjc.org

 

Jersey Center for Non Violence

Appointments and referrals: (973) 539-7801


OCEAN COUNTY

Providence House Domestic Violence Services of Catholic Charities - Ocean
24 Hr. Hotline: (732) 244-8259
Toll free: 1-800-246-8910
Web: www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/domestic-violence-services/


PASSAIC COUNTY

Passaic County Women's Center
Domestic Violence Program
24 Hr. Hotline: (973) 881-1450
Web: www.passaiccountywomenscenter.org

 

Project S.A.R.A.H.
24 Hr. Hotline: 1-888-883-2323
Phone: (973) 777-7638
Web: www.jfsclifton.org/projectsarah/

 

WAFA House
Toll free: 1-800-930-9232
Web: www.wafahouse.org/


SALEM COUNTY

Salem County Women's Services
24 Hr. Hotline: (856) 935-6655
Toll free: 1-888-632-9511
Web: www.salemcountywomensservices.org


SOMERSET COUNTY

Safe+Sound Somerset
24 Hr. Call or Text Hotline: (866) 685-1122
Web: www.safe-sound.org


SUSSEX COUNTY

DASI: Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Intervention Services
24 Hr. Hotline: (973) 875-1211
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Text Line: (973) 222-2593
Web: www.dasi.org


UNION COUNTY

Project: PROTECT
YWCA Union County
24 Hr. Hotline: (908) 355-4357 (HELP)
Web: www.ywcaunioncounty.org


WARREN COUNTY

Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center (DASACC)
24 Hr. Hotline: 908-453-4181
Toll free: 1-888-998-4033
Web: www.dasacc.org


A compiled list of New Jersey Sexual Violence Service Agencies is available here.


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