Domestic violence is a serious and potentially life threatening family law and criminal matter. Domestic violence does not only apply to physical abuse, but it applies to verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse as well. New Jersey has adopted a law called The New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, which affords protection to victims of domestic violence. The law enables a victim to obtain a retraining order to protect him or her from his or her abuser. This law applies to anyone, eighteen years or older, who is the victim of domestic violence by his or her spouse (current or former), the person whom he or she is dating or has dated, a household member (current or former), or the parent (or expectant parent) of his or her child.
The following is a list of types or acts of domestic violence, which is not exhaustive:
- Terroristic threats
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal trespass
- Criminal Coercion
- Robbery, and
- Any crime involving risk of death or serious bodily harm
In addition, contempt of an existing domestic violence order is also considered an act of domestic violence.
A restraining order is an order of the court that is issued to protect victims of domestic violence.