Domestic violence is abuse that occurs between intimate partners. Intimate partners include those who are married, divorced, or dating. Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse as well as stalking. Sadly, domestic violence is much more prevalent than we would like to think. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience domestic abuse during their lifetime. This statistic is staggering and means that you most likely have friends, family members, or coworkers who are experiencing or have experienced abuse.
Unfortunately, many domestic violence victims hide their abuse and keep it a secret from those closest to them. Often, they are afraid of retaliation from their abuser or just aren’t sure of how to get out of their situation and receive help. Through various resources and with the help of an attorney, escape is possible. Learn about what your options are if you are experiencing domestic violence.
Get Immediate Help
Domestic violence is extremely dangerous to the victim’s health and wellbeing. Abuse can cause many serious issues like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It can also lead to injury, and in some cases, death. If you are in an abusive situation, it’s essential to seek out resources to get help as soon as possible. For 24/7 care, call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800-799-7233. Your local town or city most likely also has similar hotlines available for you to call. Remember, these calls are always anonymous, so you don’t have to feel afraid that your story will be leaked. Check with your local jurisdiction to see what other resources are available.
Many counties provide resources to abuse victims through emergency shelters, safety planning, helping them reach out to an attorney, crisis management, and more. It’s important to know that you have options and that people are on your side. You don’t have to stay in the cycle of abuse forever. Help is available. In the event of an emergency where you’re in serious danger, call the police immediately.
Contact an Attorney
Domestic abuse is against the law. By working with an attorney, a victim can work to charge their abuser with simple or aggravated assault. Also, an attorney can help obtain a restraining order to keep you safe from your abuser. All victims of domestic violence in the state of New Jersey are granted the right to a temporary restraining order. A New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin can help you to get this order extended so that you can stay safe. When researching attorneys, make sure you find someone with experience handling domestic violence cases. You want a highly qualified attorney on your side to have your abuser charged and to help you obtain a permanent restraining order.
Domestic abuse cases fall under two different categories: simple assault or aggravated assault. Simple assault is usually classified as a misdemeanor. Simple assault is when an abuser purposefully injures the victim or threatens to injure the victim, invoking fear of serious injury. In the case of a simple assault charge, sometimes the abuser doesn’t even have to come in physical contact with the victim. A threat alone can warrant the charge. Committing simple assault in New Jersey leads to a maximum of 6 months of jail time and up to a $1,000 fine.
Simple assault becomes aggravated if a deadly weapon was used in the assault or if it resulted in a serious injury. Aggravated assault is considered a felony. A felony can be a first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree crime depending on the severity. Consequences vary based on the degree and whether it was a first or subsequent offense. In New Jersey, aggravated assault jail time can vary between 18 months and 20 years.
A restraining order is a way to legally keep an abuser away from a victim. As mentioned above, all domestic abuse victims in New Jersey have the right to a temporary restraining order. The judge issues this restraining order at the beginning of the case to keep the victim safe. The abuser cannot contact the victim and must stay a certain distance away from their property. Once the case is complete, the judge can issue a final, permanent restraining order. This type of restraining order won’t ever expire. If the abuser violates the restraining order, there are legal implications, including jail time. It’s crucial to have an experienced attorney fight for you in court to ensure granting of a permanent restraining order.
A New Jersey Attorney Can Help You in a Domestic Violence Case
It’s heartbreaking to read the domestic violence stats and realize it is happening all around us. Whether a victim is physically, sexually, or psychologically abused or stalked, the risk is high. Many domestic abuse victims end up with physical injuries and serious mental health issues. In some cases, domestic violence can even end in death. Domestic abuse is a brutal cycle, and sometimes it can be challenging for victims to see a way out. Through resources like domestic abuse hotlines, shelters, police officers, and attorneys, domestic abuse victims can reach out to receive help and end the abuse. Once you are in a safe space away from your abuser, contact an attorney like Leon Matchin to help you with the next steps.
For more information about domestic violence and restraining orders, reach out to Leon Matchin. Contact Leon by phone at 732-887-2479, or email him at [email protected]. He will set up a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case and go over your options.