According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, more than 20,000 calls are made to domestic violence hotlines nationwide on a given day.  Children are particularly vulnerable, with 26% experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime.  These crimes do not discriminate on age, gender, marital status, economic status, religion, or race.

If you or your loved one is suffering from domestic violence abuse, do not be afraid to seek legal counsel. You do not need to live in fear. Charles E. Tempio, an experienced Domestic Violence Attorney, is dedicated to fighting for your rights and your wellbeing. He will make it his mission to ensure that you and your loved ones live in safety, security, and comfort. There IS a solution, and it begins with a dedicated legal advocate by your side, every step of the way. Fill out our contact form to learn how Charles can help you avoid suffering in silence. 

What is Considered Domestic Violence in New Jersey?
According to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of New Jersey (PDVA), domestic violence is deemed the occurence of one or more of the following criminal offenses:

  • Homicide
  • Assault
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal Restraint
  • False Imprisonment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Criminal Sexual Contact
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Criminal Coercion
  • Robbery
  • Contempt of a domestic violence order and any crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury and cyber harassment.

Who is Protected by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of New Jersey?
The Domestic Violence Act protects the victims of the offense. The two parties must also have a specific relationship in the past or present. Under the PDVA, the relationship must be one of the following: marriage; separation; divorce; residing in the same houself (past or present); a person who the plaintiff has dated; a person with whom the plaintiff has a child in common or anticipates having a child in common. In a domestic violence case, the alleged perpetrator (defendant) must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated person. A minor is considered emancipated when they are or have been married, entered military service, has a child, is pregnant, or has been already deemed emancipated by the court (or administrative agency). The defendant must have been alleged to or found to have committed an act of domestic violence against the plaintiff. In domestic violence cases, the gender of the parties is not a considered factor.

What Are the Types of Domestic Violence?
According to the general public, domestic violence typically alludes to physical abuse that results in visible injuries on the victim. However, not every form of domestic violence is tangible. Some forms are so discreet that the victim may not even realize them until it’s too late. This is why it’s imperative that you are able to identify all categories of abusive behavior so you can act sooner rather than later. Types of abuse include but are not limited to:

  • Control
    • Controlling behavior is utilized to maintain dominance and superiority over the victim. Control is not always obvious; it is occasionally executed in a subtle, insidious manner.
  • Sexual Abuse
    • This refers to sex being used in an exploitative manner or forcing sex upon someone. Sexual abuse can either be physical or verbal. Remember, past consent does not mean present consent!
  • Physical Abuse
    • This can include threats of physical abuse, the withholding of physical necessities, physically aggressive behavior, and indirect physically harmful behavior. 
  • Emotional Abuse and Intimidation
    • Emotional abuse and intimidation can include any behavior that exploits another’s insecurity, gullibility, character, or vulnerability with the intent of harming the individual. 
  • Isolation
    • Isolation is closely correlated with controlling behavior. By depriving the victim of their personal and public resources that may help them leave the relationship, the perpetrator is maintaining power over the individual. 
  • Verbal Abuse (Coercion, Threats, Blame)
    • Verbal abuse applies to any form of abusive language that is meant to diminish, threaten, embarrass, or manipulate the victim. 
  • Economic Abuse
    • This form of abuse is used to exploit or manipulate the victim through financial resources. 

What Evidence is Needed to Prove Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence cases can be difficult to prove; perhaps there is not enough sufficient evidence or the witnesses are recalcitrant. Common types of evidence include, but are not limited to, physical evidence, witnesses, the alleged victim’s testimony.

Physical evidence can range from photographs of the victim’s injury, photographs of damaged property, or medical evidence. You can defend these allegations by presenting evidence of the true causes of these injuries. 

Witnesses are not always applicable in a Domestic Violence case, especially considering that the perpetrator may inflict injuries in private, rather than in a public space. However, if third parties saw or heard the incident(s), they may be called to testify by the prosecutor. The responding officer, if relevant to the case, may also be called to report their observations of the incident they handled. They typically will describe the behavior of both the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim, as well as the particular event or detail that initially called their attention.  Witnesses can include such officers or civilian bystanders. Their testimonies, besides that of the alleged victim, can build trust with the jury. 

The alleged victim will habitually be called to testify a firsthand account of the incident. However, in many cases, the victim may be hesitant or refuse to testify completely. If the victim does not testify, the prosecution will have to rely on other forms of evidence to move forward with the charges against the alleged perpetrator. 

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