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What to Know About Domestic Violence in New Jersey

Unfortunately, domestic violence is an extremely common issue. If you are a victim of domestic violence, it is easy to feel helpless. While you may feel like you have run out of options, this is not the case. One way to protect yourself is with a restraining order. Read on to learn more about restraining orders in New Jersey, how you can get one, and how they can help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be difficult to spot. One reason for this is the stereotypes associated with victims and perpetrators. Often, we expect domestic violence to look a certain way. In reality, anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, etc.

In New Jersey, domestic relationships are defined as follows:

  • Married parties
  • Separated parties
  • Divorced parties
  • People who live together
  • Dating couples
  • Individuals who share a child or children

Additionally, domestic violence does not always refer to physical violence. Some examples of domestic violence include:

  • Simple assault
  • Harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking
  • Terroristic threats
  • Homicide

How Do I Get a Restraining Order?

The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act was created in 1991 to protect victims of domestic abuse. This Act allows victims to seek both civil and criminal relief against their abusers. This first step in the process is obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order.

To obtain a restraining order, you should visit your local police station or family court. If you ask for a restraining order, you will most likely be granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) no matter what. New Jersey operates under the belief of “better safe than sorry,” when it comes to issues of domestic violence. Once you are granted a TRO, a hearing will be held soon after. At this hearing, a judge will determine whether the TRO should become permanent. For this to happen, you will need to provide proof of abuse and show evidence that your abuser is an immediate danger to you and/or your family. This can be a difficult process, so it is important to work with a dedicated family law attorney. Our firm can help you gather evidence and support you throughout the process.

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence in New Jersey, contact our firm today. We are here to support you.


If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.