Purposeful Advocacy for New Jersey
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What Should I Do if I Am a Victim of Domestic Violence?

One of the most horrifying things anyone can endure is an incident of domestic violence. Incidents of domestic violence completely betray everything marriage or companionship stands for. No matter how many apologies you receive, no matter how badly you want to tell yourself you deserved it in some way, you must understand that these incidents are never your fault. Domestic abusers are manipulative and cunning; they will make you pity them in one moment, then lash out in the next. However, just because your partner hurt you does not make you weak. In fact, your offender is the weak one, and he or she does not deserve an ounce of your sympathy or time. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you are most likely wondering about the best path forward. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What Are the Domestic Violence Laws in New Jersey?

The 1991 Prevention of Domestic Violence Relief Act states that victims of domestic violence can request criminal and civil relief following an incident of domestic abuse.

How Can I Get a Restraining Order in New Jersey?

If your partner has hit you, degraded you verbally, or has done anything else your gut tells you just isn’t right, you should get a restraining order against your abuser as soon as possible. A restraining order will protect both you and your family. To get a restraining order, you must first report the incident(s) of domestic violence to the local court or police. From there, you will be granted a Temporary Restraining Order. This will protect you until it comes time to establish a permanent restraining order. Some examples of abusive behavior that may warrant a restraining order are as follows:

  • Assault

  • Stalking

  • Harassment

  • Terroristic threats

  • Physical, psychological, or emotional abuse

Once you obtain your Temporary Restraining Order, the court will schedule a Final Restraining Order hearing. This is where the court will determine whether your TRO will be made permanent. From here, you may choose to hold your offender accountable for criminal activity as well. To do so, you will file a Criminal Complaint either where the violent party resides, where you reside, where the incident occurred, or where you are currently sheltered, if applicable. If you need somebody to talk to who understands what you are going through, the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is 1-800-799-7233. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. We will fight back and get you the safety you and your children deserve.

Contact Our Compassionate New Jersey Firm

Juan C. Velasco, Esq. is a trusted attorney who concentrates on bankruptcy, family law, real estate, and estate matters who has been serving the New Jersey area for over 25 years. If you need experienced legal counsel, please contact Velasco Law Office and we will be happy to assist you.