Are 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.
As we’ve learned the hard way during the Covid-19 pandemic, domestic violence flourishes when victims of abuse are isolated.
Almost a full year since the onset of last spring’s lockdown orders, pandemic-related closures and isolation at home are still the norm. [There is evidence that NJ domestic rates are higher than they were pre-pandemic.]
This winter has brought with it additional challenges. Winter storm Orelena forced business and school closures, and kept even more of us stuck inside. A poor economic report on jobs released just today (Feb 5) further underscores the stress and tension of these difficult Covid times. Even this weekend’s Super Bowl may result in increased risk for violence through increased drinking, gambling and other high risk behaviors.
Given all this, if you or a loved one are being abused, you need to know this: help for victims is always available.
Here’s how to access it…
Getting a Restraining Order in NJ – 2021
The prime legal measure for victim safety in a domestic violence situation is obtaining a temporary restraining order.
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is a crucial piece of protection for victims of domestic abuse. Restraining orders are a preventative measures to protect victims of domestic violence from future acts of domestic violence.
With a TRO in place, your abuser cannot contact you in any way, giving you the safety and space to get to a better place. This includes going to the residence or work place of the victim.
How To Get a TRO During Covid-19 And/Or Winter Storm Closings – 2021
You can get a TRO during Covid-19. The courts have put out the following information to help victims get the protection they need.
- Due to COVID-19, some NJ courthouses are still operating primarily remotely, but most have availability for in-person TRO applications. The Courts have put together a county-by-county TRO phone number listof where to call to get court availability information and directions for filing a TRO. When you call, state that you need to file for a TRO and you will be given next steps. Which county courthouse should you call? You have several choices for where to file for a temporary restraining order: It can be in the county where you live, where the defendant lives, where the act of violence took place, or in the county where you are seeking shelter.
- An individual who wishes to apply for a restraining order remotely, without going to a courthouse, can call the county’s Family Division Court to begin the process during normal court hours.
- Outside normal court hours, including weekends and holidays, victims can contact or visit their local police department to obtain the TRO. The police have the forms to fill out and will phone/video conference the victim with an on-call municipal court judge to issue the TRO.
Need help accessing safe house shelter or applying for other forms of support. See our blog: How To Get Domestic Violence Help During Covid-19 for a complete list of resource links and descriptions.
NJ Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 (800) 572-SAFE (7233)
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1(800) 799-7233
If you are experiencing a domestic violence emergency, please contact 911 or your local police.
Did you know? We offer a FREE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONSULTATION with an attorney. Call us at 888-888-01919, or please click the green button below to schedule your free virtual consultation. You can live well with your children and you can stay safe.