Domestic Violence Information

What is Domestic Violence?

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence, or intimate partner violence,as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

New Jersey’s Legal Definition of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence means the occurrence of one or more of the following criminal offenses upon a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence act of 1991,” P.L. 1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.)

N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et seq.
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1
Terroristic Threats
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3
N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1
Criminal Restraint
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2
False  Imprisonment
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3
Criminal Coercion
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-5
Sexual Assault
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2
Criminal Sexual Contact
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4
N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1
Criminal Mischief
N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3
N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2
Criminal Trespass
N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4

* In addition, domestic violence acts can also include any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence act of 1991,” P.L. 1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.)

Who can be a victim of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence acts are established by the relationship between the offender and the victim. A person protected by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is 18 years of age or older, or who is an emancipated minor, and who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member. Any person, regardless of age, sex, or physical/psychological condition, who has been subjected to domestic violence by one of the following actors:

  • A person with whom the victim has a child in common
  • A person with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common, if one of the parties is pregnant.
  • A person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship

What are the criteria for an Emancipated Minor?

A person who is under 18 years of age and meets any of the following conditions:

  • Has been married
  • Has entered the military
  • Has a child
  • Is pregnant
  • Is declared by a court or administrative agency to be emancipated

*Please be aware if the actor is under 18 years of age and is not emancipated, it is not domestic violence but is considered an act of juvenile delinquency.

What legal remedies can I seek if I have been a victim of domestic violence?

You have the right to file a civil complaint under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence act of 1991,” P.L. 1991, c.261 (C.2C:25-17 et al.), along with a criminal complaint. Both complaints should be filed for your protection since the civil complaint is designed to protect you and the criminal complaint is designed to punish the abuser.

What is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

This is an order that is issued by a judge who is satisfied that demanding circumstances exist enough to excuse the failure of the victim to appear personally and that sufficient grounds for granting the temporary restraining order have been shown. To protect the victim from the defendant, the judge may grant within the temporary restraining order that the:

  • The abuser is forbidden from returning to the scene of the Domestic Violence as well as other locations to be determined.
  • The abuser is prohibited from future acts of Domestic Violence.
  • The abuser is forbidden from possessing a firearm or weapons.
  • The abuser is forbidden from having any communication or contact with the victim or the victim’s relatives in person, via the telephone, or in writing. This includes making or causing anyone else to do so, on the abuser’s behalf.
  • The abuser is required to pay temporary child support to victim.
  • The abuser is required to reimburse the victim for any medical expenses incurred due to injury caused by defendant.
  • The victim is given exclusive possession of the residence.
  • The victim is given temporary custody of the children.

How do I get a TRO?

  • Contact the Family Part of the Superior Court in your county Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.).
  • On the weekends, holidays, and after 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can request a TRO from the Municipal Court in your area - this is done through your State or local police department.

To receive information about contacting a court for a TRO, call your State or local police department or call the Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-572-SAFE (7233).

Within 10 days of the TRO the court will schedule a hearing. Both you and your abuser will have a chance to testify. The judge will consider both testimonies before issuing a Final Restraining Order.


Summary findings from the New Jersey Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board Report February 2003:

  • In most New Jersey homicide-suicides, the perpetrators were men, who Killed their intimate partners,
  • Typically when the woman was planning to leave or the couple had recently separated. Repeatedly, experts in the field of Domestic Violence report that the most dangerous time for the victim is when she decides to leave the perpetrator.
  • There was often evidence of a history of Domestic Violence, including police reports of prior incidents of violence, or threats of violence and/or reports, or suspicions of abuse by family, friends and employers.
  • Lastly, guns were used in nearly all of these fatalities.
  • Victims and perpetrators represented the diversity of residents in the general population with one exception: nearly all perpetrators were men, and nearly all victims were women.
  • Findings in New Jersey match the commonly reported scenario of these deaths nationwide.

For further information on Domestic Violence awareness and services available to victims; look below.

Domestic Violence Agency Contacts

The New Jersey State Police does not conduct counseling services; however, assistance is available from the following organizations and agencies:

NJ Division on Women
Department of Community Affairs
101 South Broad Street
PO Box 801
Trenton, NJ08625-0801
Phone: (609) 292-8840
Fax: (609) 633-6821
TTY: (609) 777-0799

The following are Domestic Violence Programs by Counties:


Atlantic County Women's Center
Violence Intervention Program
PO Box 311
Northfield, NJ 08225
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (609) 646-6767
Toll free: 1-800-286-4184

TTY: (609) 645-2909
Fax: (609) 645-8877


Shelter our Sisters
PO Box 217
Hackensack, NJ 07602
Office: 405 State Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (201) 944-9600
TTY: (201) 836-3071
Shelter:(201) 836-1075
Fax/Shelter: (201) 836-7029
Office:(201) 498-9247
Fax/Office: (201) 498-9256

Bergen County Alternatives To Domestic Violence
County of Bergen Department of Human Services
One Bergen County Plaza, 2nd Floor
Hackensack, NJ 07601
Non-Residential Services/Outreach/Clinical Counseling/Crisis Intervention/Legal Advocacy Services
24 Hr. Hotline: (201) 336-7575
TTY: (201) 336-7525
Fax:(201) 336-7555


Providence House Domestic Violence Services - Burlington
595 Rancocas Rd.
Westampton, NJ 08060
24 Hr. Hotline: (609) 871-7551
TTY: (609) 871-7551
Office: (856) 824-0599
Fax: (856) 824-9340


Camden County Women's Center
PO Box 1459
Blackwood, NJ 08021
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (856) 227-1234
TTY: (856) 227-9264
Fax: (856) 227-1261
Outreach Center:
PO Box 1459, Attn: Outreach
Blackwood, NJ 08021
Phone: (856) 963-5668


CARA, Inc. (Coalition Against Rape & Abuse, Inc.)
PO Box 774
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (609) 522-6489
Toll free: 1-877-294-CARA [2272]

TTY: (609) 463-0818
Office: (609) 522-6489
Fax: (609) 463-0967


Center for Family Services
3642 Landis Avenue
Vineland, NJ
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: 1(886) 295-SERV (7378)
24 Hr./Toll free: 1-800-286-4353

Office: 856-696-2032
Fax: 856-696-7336


The Safe House
PO Box 1887
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (973) 759-2154

The Rachel Coalition of Jewish Family Service
Division of Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ
570 W. Mt. Pleasant Ave, Suite 106
Livingston, NJ 07039
Office: (973) 740-1233

Linda & Rudy Slucker National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW)
Center For Women
513 W. Mt. Pleasant Ave.,
Suite 325
Livingston, NJ 07039
Non-Residential Services
Office: (973) 994-4994
Fax: (973) 994-7412


Center for Family Services
PO Box 566
Glassboro, NJ 08028
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (856) 881-3335
Office: 856-881-4034
Fax: 856-881-9326


Womenrising, Inc.
Formally the YWCA Battered Women's Program

270 Fairmount Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (201) 333-5700
Office: (201) 333-5700 ext. 511
TTY: (201) 333-0547
Fax: (201) 333-9305


SAFE in Hunterdon
47 E. Main Street
Flemington, NJ 08822
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: 1-888-988-4033
TTY: (908) 788-7666
Office: (908) 788-7666
Fax: (908) 806-4725


Womanspace, Inc.
1530 Brunswick Avenue
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Emergency Shelter 24-Hr. Hotline: (609) 394-9000
State Hotline: 1-800-572-SAFE [7233]

Text: (609) 619-1888
TTY: (888) 858-7233
Office: (609) 394-0136
Fax: (609) 396-1093
1530 Brunswick Avenue
Lawrenceville, NJ, 08648
Phone: (609) 394-2532
Fax: (609) 394-5417


Women Aware, Inc.
250 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Emergency Shelter 24-Hr. Hotline: (732) 249-4504
TTY: (732) 249-0600
Office: (732) 249-4900
Fax: (732) 249-0010

Manavi Inc. *
PO Box 3103
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Office: 732-435-1414
Fax: 732-435-1411
* A non-profit organization for women who trace their cultural heritage to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.


180 Turning Lives Around
One Bethany Road, Building 3, Suite 42
Hazlet, NJ 07730
Emergency Shelter 24-Hr. Hotline: (888)-THE-WCMC [843-9262]
TTY: (732) 264-3089
Office: (732) 264-4360
Fax: (732) 264-8655


JBWS - Safety, Support & Solutions for Abuse
PO Box 1437
Morristown, NJ 07962
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (973) 267-4763
TTY: (973) 285-9095
Office: (973) 455-1256
Fax: (973) 605-5898


Providence House - Ocean
88 Schoolhouse Rd, Suite 1
Whiting, NJ 08759
Emergency Shelter
24 Hr. Hotline: (732) 244-8259
Toll free: 1-800-246-8910 (From the "609" area code only)

TTY: (732) 244-8259
Office :(732) 350-2120
Fax: (732) 350-2725


Passaic County Women's Center
Domestic Violence Program

PO Box 244
Paterson, NJ 07543
Emergency Shelter 24-Hr. Hotline: (973) 881-1450
TTY: (973) 278-8630
Fax: (973) 881-0617

1027 Madison Avenue
Paterson, NJ 07501
Phone: (973) 881-0725
Fax: (973) 881-0938

Project S.A.R.A.H.
925 Allwood Rd
Clifton, NJ 07012
Shalom Task Force Hotline: 1-888-883-2323
Phone: (973) 777-7638
Fax: (973) 777-9311

Strengthen Our Sisters
P.O. Box 359
Wanaque, NJ 07465
24-Hr. Hotline: 1-800-676-9470
Shelter: (973) 728-0059
Office: (973) 506-4577
Fax: (973) 728-1430


Salem County Women's Services
PO Box 125
Salem, NJ 08079-0125
Emergency Shelter 24-Hr. Hotline: (856) 935-6655
Toll free: 1-888-632-9511

TTY: (856) 935-7118
Fax: (856) 935-6165


Safe+Sound Somerset
427 Homestead Road
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Office: (908) 359-0003
Emergency 24 Hr. Call or Text Hotline: (866) 685-1122
TTY/TDD: (908) 359-8640


DASI: Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Intervention Services
PO Box 805
Newton, NJ 07860
Emergency Shelter 24 Hr. Hotline: (973) 875-1211
TTY: (973) 875-6369
Text: (973) 222-2593
Office: (973) 579-2386
Fax: (973) 579-3277


YWCA Union County
1131 East Jersey Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Emergency Shelter 24-Hr. Hotline: (908) 355-4357
TTY: (908) 355-1023
Office: (908) 355-1995
Fax: (908) 355-0534
Phone: (908) 355-1500


Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center (DASACC)
24-Hr. Hotline: (908)453-4181
Hearing Impaired: 711+ (908)-453-4181
Toll free: 1-866-6Be-SAFE [623-7233]
Office: (908) 453-4121
Fax: (908) 453-3706
Outreach Office
29C Broad Street
Washington, NJ 07882

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