Domestic Violence Law
In New Jersey, you have a legal right to be free from physical harm, abuse and threats in your personal life. If you live in fear for your personal safety, you should know what actions you can take and what legal remedies are available to you. This Web site is designed to help you to understand the legal protection that is available for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including information on stalking and restraining orders.
The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act
Does This Law Apply to My Situation and Me?
This law applies to you if you are: A person 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor, subjected to domestic violence by a spouse or former spouse, a present or former household member or someone with whom you have a child in common. This law also applies to you 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 a Victim Of Domestic Violence Under the Law?
You are a 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 or 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.
For a more in-depth look at this law, please visit: the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s publication “Domestic Violence: The Law and You (Second Edition)” or the New Jersey Judiciary page of domestic violence laws.