Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence?

Domestic Violence comes in many forms and applies to any protected party regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

Domestic violence in New Jersey is outlined in the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act N.J.S.A 2C:25-17. Under the Act, any “protected party”  may assert that abuse has occurred if the alleged perpetrator commits an act of domestic violence. Some examples of domestic violence under the act are:
-Simple assault N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1
– Harassment N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4
– Terroristic threats N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3
– Rape/Sexual Assault N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2
– Murder N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1
– Strangulation under the Aggravated Assault Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:12-11
– Criminal Restraint N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2
– Criminal Mischief N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3
– Stalking N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10

What are the types of BEHAVIORS CONSIDERED TO BE domestic violence?

Physically abusive behaviors include assault of any kind, ranging from pinching, pushing, hitting, slapping, choking, shooting, stabbing, to murder. Verbal, emotional, mental, or psychological violence includes such actions as threats of violence, forcing someone into doing something by duress,  or harassment and stalking for example.  Stalking refers to behavior including showing up at the victim’s home or workplace, placing harassing phone calls, voicemails, emails or postal mail messages, Facebook or social media posts and contact, leaving unwanted items, or vandalizing the victim’s property. Domestic violence is not any one thing and can vary from case to case.

Domestic violence can be committed by a man, woman, roommate, spouse,  family member, parent, child, or caregiver to name a few.

Looking for Legal Service With Global Quality?

Restraining Orders

Under the Act any protected party who alleges that an act of domestic violence occurred can apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO). The TRO restrains the individual from contacting or going near the alleged victim. Once a TRO is granted the court sets the date for the final hearing in which the applicant can obtain a final Restraining order (FRO).

Both parties are entitled to hearing.  If you are the Defendant in a case whom the restraining order is sought to be imposed against, you have the right to an attorney and a hearing in which you can refute the Plaintiff’s case.  If you are the Plaintiff, seeking the order, you are entitled to an attorney and must demonstrate that you are a protected party, that an act of domestic violence occurred at the hands of  the defendant, and that you are afraid and in need of protection

What does a restraining order do?

In general restraining orders prohibit you from doing something.  For example, you may be ordered to: 

Stay away from and have no contact with any person named in the order (can include children or household members).

Stay away from the residence, work, or school  of the protected parties.

Refrain from any oral or written communication. 

Pay child support and maintenance. 

Refrain from any future acts of domestic violence.


For those that are protected by a restraining order, they may feel more safe or at ease knowing that they have a remedy if the Defendant contacts them again.  But for those against whom an order is granted, it can prove harmful impacting tings like your employment, relationships with children and family, and where you live.  An attorney can help navigate the Family Court and assist in avoiding the pitfalls that pro-se litigants are up against.

Attorney At Law