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Domestic Violence Surges In New Jersey

Domestic violence incidents at the end of June in South Jersey reflect a troublesome trend. Statistics from state police from 2011 provide a glimpse of the trends, a period during which Camden and Ocean counties both experienced approximately 200 arrests of individuals in violation of restraining orders connected to domestic violence issues. More than 3,000 assaults were recorded in Camden County that year, along with two homicides. During the same year, both Burlington and Gloucester counties reported more than 1,300 assaults.

According to experts, domestic violence is particularly dangerous because the abuser involved is often very well-acquainted with the personal habits of the victim. Restraining orders may have little impact, as violations of such orders are common. However, if a bill passed in the Legislature earlier this year is put into effect, it may provide a means of managing the issue through electronic tracking of those subject to restraining orders. However, the governor issued a conditional veto. Among Governor Christie’s concerns was the question of whether such technology actually exists. While some officials indicate that it does exist, a California scenario highlights the importance of official enforcement of such legislation. A California measure passed in 2012 calls for electronic monitoring, but county officials indicate a lack of resources in many cases.

An individual concerned about the potential for domestic violence may obtain a temporary or final restraining order. A 10-day waiting period may follow a temporary order being issued before finalization. Such an order may be permanent or may carry an expiration date. Accommodations have been made recently so that a victim of domestic violence can use video conferencing in this process to remain in a safe location.

An individual concerned with the potential for domestic violence may want to enlist the help of a lawyer in filing a restraining order. A lawyer may be able to coordinate video interaction for a client who is located in a safe house or hospital.

Source: Courier-Post, “Domestic violence: Unsafe at home in N.J.“, Dustin Racioppi and Margaret Bonafide, July 06, 2014