Domestic Violence During the Coronavirus
As the coronavirus spreads and more people are stuck at home due to New Jersey’s stay at home order, it is likely that there will be an increase in the number of domestic violence incidents. Families are isolated together and the stress of being stuck at home can be a recipe for disaster for couples that have a strained relationship.
One in four women and one in seven men have experienced abuse by a current or former partner. Isolation due to social distancing combined with economic strain and uncertainty could put couples in a greater risk of arguments escalating. Many attorneys and domestic violence groups are predicting that we may see a spike in incidents due to the fact that many people are stuck at home in situations that could potentially be dangerous.
If you have not been ordered into quarantine and you fear that your situation may become violent, it is advisable that you seek shelter elsewhere with another family member, shelter, etc. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, there are many organizations that are still operating and are willing to help you in order to leave your situation or get help during the pandemic.
New Jersey Courts are still hearing emergent matters and are available for those who are seeking a restraining order due to domestic violence. Restraining orders restrict one named person (Defendant) from contacting or coming within a certain distance of another named person (Plaintiff). These orders can also bar the Defendant from going to the residence or workplace of the victim.
A Plaintiff can file a domestic violence complaint and ask for what is known as a Temporary Restraining Order with the New Jersey Superior Court Family Division or a local police department. A Temporary Restraining Order is only effective until a final hearing can take place where a judge will determine if a permanent or Final Restraining Order should be ordered. At this final hearing, both the Plaintiff and Defendant may present testimony to the judge. If you are the accused, then it is important that you appear at this final hearing and present relevant testimony because a Final Restraining Order remains in full force and effect permanently.
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, or have been accused of domestic violence, and need help navigating the restraining order process, the attorneys of Dalena & Bosch are here to help you. If you have any questions regarding restraining orders or starting the divorce process following a domestic violence incident, please contact the experienced family law attorneys of Dalena & Bosch to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs and goals.