Domestic violence is a concern in every culture and country. It is challenging to combat abuse behind closed doors, often in conjunction with implied or express threats. Domestic violence occurs between those who have a relationship, making victims more reluctant to report the abuse.
To combat this problem, New Jersey enacted the ‘Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991.’ The act defines “domestic violence” as:
[An] occurrence of one or more of the following acts inflicted upon a person protected under this act by an adult or an emancipated minor.
The legislature lists acts of domestic violence as Homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, stalking, criminal coercion, robbery, violation of a domestic violence restraining order or, any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a protected person.
Further, a victim of domestic violence is defined as:
Any person who 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 household member or was at any time a household member. “Victim of domestic violence” also includes any person, regardless of age, who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has a child in common if one of the parties is pregnant. “Victim of domestic violence” also includes any person who has been subjected to domestic violence by a person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.
The term “domestic violence” covers a wide range of criminal acts perpetrated upon a wide range of victims, all of whom have or had a prior relationship with their attacker. Both men and women can be a domestic violence attacker or victim.
The act also provides several protections to victims, including the filing of criminal charges by the police or the victim, seizure of the attacker’s weapons, and the issuance of a “restraining order” prohibiting the attacker contacting the victim.
If you are involved in a domestic situation, please call to schedule a confidential consultation. Let’s discuss your options and the remedies available to you.