If you are in immediate danger, dial 911
The North Brunswick Domestic Violence Response Team provides 24 hour confidential counseling and assistance for victims of domestic violence and their families. The team is dispatched through the police department and can be reached either by police interaction or by calling 732-545-3200 Ext 300.
Domestic Violence Information
THE LAW: THE PREVENTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT
DOES THIS LAW APPLY TO ME AND MY SITUATION? This law applies to you if you are: a person 18 years of age or older, an emancipated minor subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, a present or former household member, or someone with whom you have a child in common. This law also applies if you are subjected to domestic violence within a dating relationship, regardless of your age (under or over 18). You do not have to be married or living with the abuser in order to be protected.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNDER THIS LAW? You are the victim of domestic violence if you have experienced:
- beatings or physical attacks such as kicking, slapping, punching, or hair pulling;
- threats that make you fear serious injury to yourself for your children;
- threats that make you fear for your life;
- imprisonment within your own home or at another location;
- forced sexual contact or rape under threats of harm to yourself or someone you care about;
- embarrassment or alarm because of lewd or shocking behavior;
- damage to your personal property;
- forced entry into your home, with or without a weapon;
- threats with a weapon such as a gun or knife;
- repeated verbal humiliation and attacks.
WHAT LEGAL REMEDIES CAN I SEEK IF I HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? You have the right to file a civil complaint, a criminal complaint or both. Domestic violence is recognized as a serious life-threatening crime. The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act was enacted to protect you. It is your right to use the law.
THE LEGAL PROCESS WHAT IS A CIVIL COMPLAINT? In a civil action you are asking the court to resolve a conflict between you and the person abusing you. You are not asking the court to punish that person for breaking the law. One of the protections available to you in a civil action is a civil restraining order.
WHAT IS A CIVIL RESTRAINING ORDER? A civil restraining order, called a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), is a legally enforceable document which, among other things, limits the physical contact between you and the person abusing you.
When filing for a TRO in a domestic violence situation, you may request the following:
- that the defendant (the person who attacked you) be prohibited from harassing you or your relatives;
- that the defendant be prohibited from entering your residence, property, place of employment or school; that you retain custody of any children and receive child support;
- that the day, time and circumstances of any visitation with the children are convenient for you, or that no visitation be granted;
- that you be reimbursed for any loss of earnings, out-of-pocket medical expenses, moving costs and attorney’s fees incurred as a result of the abuse;
- that the defendant receive professional domestic violence counseling;
- that the defendant is prohibited from following, stalking, or threatening to harm, stalk or follow you.
DO I ALSO HAVE THE RIGHT TO FILE A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT IF I CHOOSE? YES! A criminal complaint accuses the abuser of committing a crime. The new Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act lists acts which are considered to be crimes against the victim.
NEED FURTHER ASSISTANCE?
North Brunswick Domestic Violence Response Team (dispatched by North Brunswick Police Department) 732-545-3200
Women Aware 24 Hour Hotline 732-249-4504
Division of Youth & Family Service 24 Hour Hotline 800-792-8610
NJ Domestic Violence Hotline (confidential, bilingual, TDD-accessible) 800-572-SAFE NJ
Coalition to End Domestic Violence 609-584-8107
Rape Crisis Center 24-hour Toll Free 877-665-7273
North Brunswick Food Bank 732-247-0922 x293