We’re advocates of all victims of domestic violence. But today, in honor of International Women’s Day 2018, we’re putting the needs of women in the spotlight. For you — or for a woman in your life who you fear is trapped in an abusive relationship — here are some important reminders that you deserve safety and protection. You deserve to break free.
You have the right to be safe. You don’t need to endure any form of abuse, whether it’s physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. In 2018, it’s tragically still true that 1 in 3 women will encounter some form of partner violence in her lifetime. For your own protection, and to help women in your life who may experience abuse, learn how to file for a temporary restraining order. A court-ordered protective order prohibits your abuser from contacting you anywhere — at home, at work, or on your phone. For survivors, establishing a TRO is a powerful step towards rebuilding a life that’s free from abuse.
You have the right to keep your children safe. Women often stay in their abusive relationship because their abusers threaten to take their children from them, or threaten to report them for kidnapping if the woman escapes and takes her children with her. The truth is, if you have a child, or are expecting a child, with an abusive partner or former partner, you can obtain protections for the child through the temporary restraining order process. Because you are seeking protection from a violent partner, the courts will presume that children in your care also require protection. Leaving a violent situation and going to a safe location with your children is not kidnapping. To avoid any confusion, document your situation immediately by calling 911 or the 24-hour New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1-800-572-SAFE (1-800-572-7233), or go directly to the police station or court house.
You have the right to have money to live. In Bari Weinberger’s recent financial abuse talk at the YWCA, she highlighted the grim statistic that 98% — virtually all — abusive relationships include some form of financial abuse. A financially abusive partner uses money and access to it as a form of control to keep their victims trapped. Victims may be forced to hand over their paychecks and/or be forced to adhere to an overly strict “allowance” — or face the consequence from their violent partner. Victims are left penniless and isolated, often without even enough access to cash to afford a bus ticket.
If you or someone you know finds yourself in this nightmare, you can get help and you can get money to live. As part of the restraining order process, or as a separate request that is sent to the courts, you can get temporary alimony to pay for things like rent and food, temporary child support to provide your children, and court-ordered access to bank accounts or income that you were prohibited access to. You can get a lawyer to help you work out a plan — the courts can even order your abuser to pay for your legal help.
You have right to a secured future. You can break free from abusive and violent relationships. Help is available and the law is there to protect you. We have so many more domestic abuse resources to share with you to empower you to create the peaceful life that you and your children deserve, on International Women’s Day — and every day.
For more information on Financial Abuse, please see the slideshare below. If you are in need of emergency help for domestic violence, call 911 . To come in to speak wth an attorney about your rights, call us at 888-888-0919, or please click the button.