domestic violence restraining orders

According to UN.org, domestic violence “can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.” Domestic violence extends past intimate relationships. Children and other household members can be victims of domestic violence as well. Unfortunately, domestic abuse is more prevalent than we would like to think. Because it happens behind closed doors, it often goes unnoticed and remains a family secret. It takes a lot of courage for a domestic violence victim to speak out and ask for help, as they often are afraid of the consequences should their abuser find out. If you or a loved one is in a domestic abuse situation, get help today from the police and a New Jersey attorney

Domestic Violence Prevalence 

Domestic violence happens all around us but often goes unseen. Unbeknownst to you, there may be people in your life such as friends, coworkers, or neighbors who are experiencing domestic abuse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) provides startling statistics about how prevalent domestic abuse is in the United States. Here are some stats shared by the organization. Check out their website for even more stats and details:  

  • “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”
  • “1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”
  • “On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.”
  • “19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.”

When you see the numbers, it’s staggering how many people have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic violence. 

What to Do if You Experience Domestic Violence 

It can be very difficult and scary for domestic violence victims to come forward to get help. Often there is an extreme level of fear in turning in their abuser, as they worry about the consequences that might ensue. Contacting the police is the best first step in a domestic violence situation. Secondly, contact a New Jersey attorney. Your attorney can help represent you if you end up having to go to court. 

Restraining Order

According to the New Jersey State Police, all domestic violence victims have the right to obtain a temporary restraining order. The restraining order helps keep the abuser away from the victim. It protects the victim by keeping the abuser away and granting the victim rights like full child custody and full solo use of the residence. To get a temporary restraining order on weekdays, contact the Family Part of the Superior Court. If it’s a weekend or holiday, contact the police department. Within ten days of receiving the temporary restraining order, the victim and abuser will go to trial to testify. This trial is why it is essential to hire an experienced attorney you can trust. Your attorney’s goal will be to grant an extended restraining order or to bring about charges of assault for the abuser. 

Simple Assault Charges

There are two types of assault that come into play with domestic violence. The first is simple assault. Simple assault occurs when someone tries to purposely injure another or when their negligence leads to injury of another with a deadly weapon. In addition, causing someone fear of serious injury is also considered simple assault. Simple assault is a misdemeanor. Penalties include up to six months of jail time and fines up to $1,000. 

Aggravated Assault Charges 

An aggravated assault charge is the second type of assault seen in domestic violence cases. Aggravated assault includes someone attempting to cause injury or recklessly causing injury with a deadly weapon. It can also include pointing a firearm at the victim. For domestic violence to be considered aggravated assault, the victim must have been seriously injured, or a deadly weapon had to knowingly or recklessly be used. The consequences for aggravated assault depend on the degree of the crime and vary from case to case. 

Help from a New Jersey Attorney 

Going to trial and facing your abuser can be terrifying. Finding an attorney to stand by your side and defend you is crucial. Your attorney will walk you through the courtroom strategy and help bring evidence to light so that your abuser will face charges and your temporary restraining order extended. Leon Matchin, a New Jersey attorney, has years of experience working on assault cases and restraining order cases. Leon knows how scary these types of trials can be, and he is here to walk you through it step by step. 

Unfortunately, domestic abuse is a lot more common than we’d like to think. Domestic violence puts victims in dangerous situations that can lead to injury or even death. Coming forward as a victim can be scary and takes a lot of courage. If you are in a domestic abuse situation, contact a local or national domestic abuse hotline, call the police, and reach out to an attorney for support in court. Know someone else caught up in a cycle of domestic abuse? Encourage them to do the same. In New Jersey, all domestic violence victims can receive a temporary restraining order and will go to court within ten days of receiving the order. By working with an attorney, the goal is extending the restraining order or pressing charges to charge the abuser with simple or aggravated assault. 

For more information about restraining orders and domestic violence, reach out to Leon Matchin. Contact Leon by phone at (833) 732-7320, or email him at [email protected]. He will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case and go over your options.