How to Handle a NJ Domestic Violence Case During COVID-19By Moskowitz Law Group, LLC |
The Coronavirus outbreak presents a difficult situation for domestic violence victims. Victims may feel forced to choose between quarantining with their abusers or risk COVID-19 exposure during a stay-at-home order. Although reports and arrests for domestic violence declined during April, NJ government officials are skeptical these results indicate fewer domestic cases, but rather a decrease in the reporting of these incidents.
Although COVID-19 may limit a domestic violence victims’ options for shelter and treatment, there are still many ways to find safety. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, contact a victim help hotline as soon as possible.
You may also contact the police for a temporary restraining order to protect you, your children, and family pets if they are in danger from an abuser. After you have secured your immediate safety, contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer from the Moskowitz Law Group to help build a case, present evidence, and fight for your continuing safety.
Contacting a Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline
For domestic violence victims, reaching out to an abuse hotline is often the first step. To ensure your safety and mental health during this uncertain time, find a local hotline or service and receive personalized help. Some hotlines operate 24/7 and are available in different languages. For more information and hotline resources, check out NJ Courts’ guide to domestic violence victim rights.
Contacting the Police
In New Jersey, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act allows victims to report domestic violence by contacting their local police department. Shortly thereafter, a judge will hear testimonies and may issue an Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). This restraining order may be issued in instances where the abuser poses an immediate threat to the victim, the victim’s children, and even household pets. The order may also provide guidelines for communication restrictions between the two parties, firearm surrender, and shelter accommodations.
Since an emergency protective order remains in effect until a family court judge issues a further order, contacting the police could help protect victims and those they love from abusers. These protections still apply during the Coronavirus outbreak, although court decisions may be more delayed than usual.
Contacting a Domestic Violence Attorney
An experienced NJ domestic violence lawyer could help you organize your case during the legal proceedings and earn compensation. Virtual hearings may delay the hearing process and make it more difficult to present a case. By adding a domestic violence lawyer, victims may better record and collect evidence against their abusers, present existing police reports and keep their cases on track for the court appearance.
Although the Coronavirus outbreak presents many difficulties for domestic violence victim accommodations, law enforcement and domestic violence lawyers in New Jersey are here to protect you from your abuser.
If you are in an abusive relationship, do not hesitate to call a victim’s help hotline or the local police. Soon thereafter, contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer at Moskowitz Law Group to plan your next steps.