Under New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA), domestic violence is defined as the actual or threat of physical, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse of a person by another person with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship. This relationship must be either marriage, divorce, separation, cohabitation, dating, or someone with whom the victim has — or anticipates having — a child in common. Both parties must be over the age of 18 or an emancipated minor.
While women are most often the victims of domestic violence, men can be victims as well. The PDVA prohibits 14 criminal offenses:
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Terroristic threats
- False imprisonment
- Criminal restraint
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
New Jersey law provides for a number of legal protections for domestic violence victims, including:
Restraining Orders — victims can apply for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or a Final Restraining Order from the family court in his or her county of residence.
Civil Litigation — a victim can file a lawsuit against his or her abuser seeking monetary damages for pain and suffering and/or losses for medical expenses, wage losses, etc.
Address Confidentiality Program — this program provides domestic violence victims with an alternative legal address (typically a P.O. Box) that can be used in place of their actual physical address.
Domestic violence can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on a number of factors, including any history of prior domestic abuse. If the police are called and there are any signs at all of physical injury, the abuser must be arrested.
Protecting your interests and achieving results that support your needs is what you can expect from Cistaro Law. Contact us today for your free consultation.