Domestic Violence Hotline
Q: WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic violence is a pattern of intimidation, coercion and violence; the sum of all past acts and the promise of future acts that achieve power and control over a partner. This pattern often increases in frequency and severity over time. Battering can be verbal, physical, emotional, sexual or economic. An abused person can be of any age, race, class, culture, religion or occupation. The abused person may also be male or female, gay or straight.
Some Possible Signs that you may be a victim of Domestic Violence:
- You are afraid to say what you think.
- You are fearful or nervous when your partner is due home
- Your partner is very jealous and controlling
- You are being forced to have sex against your will
- Your partner hits, shoves and/or chokes you
- You are being put down, controlled or hit by any adult family member with whom you live
- Your partner controls where you go, what you do and who you see
- Your partner throws things at you
- Your partner threatens that you will lose custody of your children
- Your partner keeps you from seeing the people you care about the most
- Your partner's outbursts of violence have become more frequent and severe
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS?
Domestic violence tends to get worse with time and it usually does not go away on its own. It is important to remember that you are not responsible for the violence, but there are things you can do that may help break the cycle of violence:
- Domestic violence is a crime. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. The police will respond and be able to inform you about legal protections and restraining orders.
- You have the right to ask a judge to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) that may help protect you from more abuse by the person who attacked you. A TRO can require that the attacker is temporarily forbidden from: (1) entering your home, (2) having contact with you or your relatives, or (3) bothering you at work. A TRO can say that you have temporary custody of your children, and may include other things the court can order. A TRO can also require the attacker to pay temporary support for your children or you, and to pay you back money spent for medical treatment and repairs because of the violence. You can get a TRO by the Family Part of Superior Court in your county during normal business hours (Morris County: County Courthouse, Washington Street, Morristown, NJ. Telephone: 973-656-4342). TRO's can be obtained outside of normal business hours through the Police Department.
- In some cases, depending on the circumstances of the incident, the police are required to file a criminal complaint against your attacker, whether you wish to file charges or not. If the police do not file charges, you still have a right to file a criminal complaint and the Police Officer can tell you how to do so.
The above information is courtesy of the NJ Coalition for Battered Women
Important Information Domestic Violence & 911
Every person has a right to feel safe and secure in their own home and free from domestic violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence and require assistance, immediately call 9-1-1. Be sure to tell the Dispatcher what happened, if your attacker is still present in the house, if anyone is hurt and if any weapons are involved or present in the home. If needed, the Dispatcher will remain on the phone with you until officers arrive.
Domestic Violence Crisis Response Team (CRT)
The Domestic Violence Crisis Response Team was formulated to assist officers in providing the most effective intervention on an immediate basis. The team is comprised of volunteer citizens from the community who have been accepted and trained by the Morris County Prosecutor's Office and the New Jersey Battered Women's Service, to respond to and provide immediate assistance to victims of domestic violence. Types of assistance the CRT provides include: explanation of the Domestic Violence Act and its components, explanation of available social services which can assist the victim in attending to his/her needs, referral to the Jersey Battered Woman's Service for follow up needs, assisting the victim in seeking available alternate shelter when needed, and an explanation of the dynamics of Domestic Violence.
Find out more information on becoming a CRT Volunteer, contact P.O. Underwood at 973-627-4900 x 354.