IRS: Tax Benefits Available For Survivors of Domestic Violence 

When survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives, establishing solid financial footing is a priority. During federal tax filing season, important IRS tax benefits can support survivors in achieving the goal of financial recovery. Is someone in your life picking up the pieces following abuse? Here’s what to know before filing this year’s tax returns.

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Help in 2024 for Victims of Stalking and Cyber Harassment as SASPA Becomes VASPA 

cyberstalkingIn 2023, the New Jersey legislature took action to expand the protections of the Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act, NJSA 2C:14-13, et seq. (SASPA). Effective January 1, 2024, the amended law allows victims of stalking or cyber-harassment to request restraining orders even in the absence of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. The law remains otherwise the same but has been retitled the “Victim’s Assistance and Survivor Protection Act” (VASPA).

Let’s unpack VASPA to see how updated provisions close loopholes and help victims of stalking and cyber harassment gain improved access to protection.

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4 Ways Abusers Are Using High Tech To Stalk In 2022 — And What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

cyberstalking in 2022

Is your phone being used to spy on you? How about your car? As “smart” internet-enabled technologies continue to evolve, unfortunately, so too do the techniques abusive spouses use to twist these advances into manipulative tools of surveillance and cyberstalking. 

Should you be concerned for your safety? In 2022, you need to learn four new ways abusers are using high tech to stalk — and the steps you can to protect yourself. Read more

How To Help An Adult Child Trapped In An Abusive Relationship

talking to adult child about domestic violence

When her tragic disappearance and murder made headlines around the world, the life of Gabby Petito sparked a much-needed conversation about relationship safety. Anyone who watched footage of Gabby and Brian Laundrie stopped by the police in Moab, Utah, over a domestic violence dispute were left with questions…could more have been done to detect warning signs of abusive behavior? What legal steps can be taken to protect victims from their abusers? And, how do you help a loved one trapped in a violent relationship right now? Read more

Strangulation In Domestic Violence Is a Dire Red Flag: Here’s How To Help Victims

Strangulation is one of the most underreported crimes of domestic violence. It’s also among the most deadly. According to the Journal of Emergency Medicine, domestic violence strangulation is a key predictor of future domestic violence homicide.

New Jersey recently passed a law elevating strangulation from a third to a second degree crime in the state. As Bari Weinberger wrote in her recent New Jersey Law Journal article, “Strangulation: How The ‘Rough Sex’ Defense Doesn’t Wash in DV Cases,” while this new law is an important step in the right direction, there’s more work to be done to bring justice to victims of strangulation.

Do you have a friend or loved one who you suspect may be a victims of domestic violence strangulation? Here’s how to get them the help they need.  Read more

NJ Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: How Do You File In 2021

help for domestic violenceAre you a victim of domestic violence and not sure where or how to seek help in 2021? Get the information you need to protect yourself this winter and beyond. You can get out and you can stay safe.  Read more

Here’s What Happened To NJ’s Domestic Violence Cases During Covid-19 — And What You Can Do To Get Help 

nj domestic violence covid-19A NY Times article from the height of the Covid-19 pandemic found that domestic violence rates around the globe were rising, spurred by Covid-19 lockdowns, economic distress, and victims driven even further into isolation.

Concerned about similar spikes in domestic abuse that may be happening here in New Jersey, family law expert Bari Weinberger, our firm’s founder, set out to uncover how factors such as home confinement and court closures have impacted statewide domestic violence rates.  Read more

6 Ways Victims Of Domestic Violence Can Access Financial Support

financial support for domestic violence victimsAre you or a loved one trapped in an abusive relationship because you don’t see a way to financially support yourself should you leave? Are you asking yourself questions like…

How can I afford to rent an apartment? How can I afford to feed my kids? How can I create a new life if I can’t pay for it?

Abusers often use tactics of manipulative control over their victim’s finances (aka financial abuse) as a way to keep their victim isolated and fearful of leaving. Abusers may cut off access to joint bank accounts, ruin the victim’s credit, and terrify their victim into giving up their job. 

However, here’s what your abuser doesn’t want you to know: you can get out, you can get to safety, and you can get money to live. 

As you go about putting together your safety plan for leaving and creating a safe new existence for you and your children, please know that key financial support is available to you right now. See which of the following resources could be a good match for your needs.  Read more

Court Highlights: In Winning Appeal, Attorney Richard Outhwaite Safeguards His Client’s Final Restraining Order

Congratulations to family law attorney Richard Outhwaite for protecting his client’s right to a final restraining order in her successful domestic violence appeals matter. The outcome of the Appellate Division case was highlighted in this week’s Court Digest (I.U. v. M.U., Appellate Division, Per Curiam).

Mr. Outhwaite skillfully secured his client’s safety and future by proving to the courts the continued need for the final restraining order over the objections and calls to dismiss by the defendant (the client’s former spouse). In its ruling, the Appellate Court agreed with Mr. Outhwaite and affirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of plaintiff pursuant to the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17-35. Mr. Outhwaite’s client was found to be credible and the FRO necessary for future safety. The defendant’s demand to dismiss the FRO was denied. 

We commend Mr. Outhwaite for his superb job in fulfilling our firm’s mission of safeguarding our clients and their rights and futures. As we observe October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s all the more meaningful to have Mr. Outhwaite’s shining example of what we mean when we say that we are committed to our clients’ continued safety. 

Do you or a loved one need help with a domestic violence matter, including filing for a restraining order? Please see our free legal helping resources. Have questions and need to speak with an attorney? Contact us to schedule a confidential attorney consultation. Call us at 888-888-0919, or click the button below.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2020 — How To Get Help During Covid-19

This October’s Domestic Violence Awareness month is one like no other. Typically, the awareness month is an important opportunity to share resources and engage in discussion about how to further aid survivors and end domestic abuse. 

In 2020, however, there is an urgent need to get information directly to victims who may be uncertain of how to get help and get to safety in the time of Covid-19. With closures and changed access the norm until further notice, usual avenues of help and support may feel difficult to access. 

Do you or a loved one need to get to safety as a result of a violent or abusive partner? Here is a breakdown of needed help and how to still get it during the pandemic.  Read more