For years, domestic violence has been a serious and complicated issue plaguing the American legal system. New Jersey domestic violence cases in family court often require assistance from a long list of professionals, including social workers, counselors, attorneys, guardians ad litem, judges, police officers and others.
The Press of Atlantic City recently launched an in-depth analysis of the problem of domestic violence in New Jersey communities. Our Middlesex County domestic violence attorneys noted the interesting insight into which solutions were most effective. For example, the average rate of prosecution for domestic violence criminal cases in the New Jersey municipal courts is only 20 percent. Some counties have found ways to improve these margins. Ocean County developed a specialized domestic violence unit within its prosecutors’ offices. By working more closely and efficiently with local police departments, Ocean County prosecutors have more than doubled the rate of prosecution for domestic violence cases to 52 percent.
But solutions aren’t just found within the criminal courts. Victims seeking a safe separation from their abusers while still protecting their financial interests (the two reasons many victims find it so difficult to leave) often necessitates involvement from a New Jersey family law attorney.
Finding the Right Solutions for Each Victim
A domestic violence attorney can help victims determine what legal measures are most appropriate for their situation. For some, a restraining order may be necessary to help protect the victim from immediate harm. A restraining order can also protect children and even pets. In 2012, Governor Chris Christie signed the Domestic Violence Pet Protection Law, amendingSection 2C: 25-26 New Jersey Statutes Annotated, to allow judges presiding over cases involving domestic violence to enter orders protecting pets.
An immediate safety plan should also provide for other, non-legal needs, such as food, shelter and clothing. Social workers and domestic violence assistance agencies can help victims find solutions to meet such needs.
Once an immediate safety plan has been enacted, victims may have unmet medical and psychological needs that require attention. Doctors, nurses, trauma counselors, and other medical and mental health professionals can help victims restore their physical and emotional well-being. In the stress of enacting a safety plan, it can be easy to neglect one’s basic health needs. Unfortunately, this tends to exacerbate symptoms, and it can leave victims unable to move forward with their lives. Obtaining safe housing, covering critical expenses and aiding in the prosecution of the perpetrator can all take a serious toll on a victim of domestic violence. That’s why it is so important for victims to get all the help they need as soon as possible.
A recent tragic domestic violence homicide in Newark underscores how perilous these situations can be. According to News 12 New Jersey, a 28-year-old mother was allegedly shot and killed by the father of her children. The man had been arrested and released on prior charges involving harm to her, and she had taken out a restraining order. The mayor and other activists are calling for reform to the criminal justice system, with conditions of bail and release for accused abusers being a top issue of concern.
If you are considering leaving a physically abusive relationship, an experienced Middlesex County domestic violence attorney can help with restraining orders, child custody orders and assisting victims in locating the best available resources. The top priority is your immediate well-being and safety. This often involves a carefully-planned exit strategy. Our dedicated, compassionate and discrete legal team can help you map out the steps necessary to reduce your danger risk and secure the financial independence to safely extricate yourself.
The Middlesex County domestic violence attorneys at Rozin-Golinder Law LLC can assist you with all legal matters related to domestic violence. Calling (732) 810-0034 today to schedule a consultation.