Who is Protected by New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Laws?
Just about everyone has some concept of how domestic violence complaints work. In yesterday’s article, we broke down a number of offenses that may be considered acts of domestic violence. However, there’s something else you need to know. All things considered, who is protected by New Jersey’s domestic violence laws?
In New Jersey, the law that provides protection against domestic violence is actually known as the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991. As you may already surmise, the means of preventing domestic violence often calls for judicial intervention and issuance of a restraining order. However, in order to qualify for protection under the statute, you must meet certain qualifications.
Domestic Violence Victims
NJSA 2C:25-19 (d) provides a definition concerning who are considered domestic violence victims. In some cases, the victim must be over the age of eighteen or an emancipated minor. In order to be considered an emancipated minor, the victim must be under the age of eighteen and meet one of the following conditions:
- Entered military service
- Has been married or is currently married
- Has a child or is pregnant
- Emancipated by judicial order
Emancipated minors and those over the age of eighteen may bring a claim of domestic violence against a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present household member or was at any time a household member.
Meanwhile, age is of no consequence when it comes to determining whether some are victims of domestic violence. Take for an example a teenage boy whose girlfriend is pregnant with his child. The prospective mother assaults the boyfriend. He would be entitled to move for a restraining order under New Jersey’s domestic violence laws.
The statute states that age is irrelevant when a couple shares a child in common. The same is true if the victim anticipates having a child together if the mother is pregnant. Domestic violence victims may also be individuals who are currently dating or have been romantically involved in the past.
Domestic Violence Victims: Who are They?
Now that you know the legal definition of domestic violence, you may be curious what the statistics show. A 2015 statistical analysis indicates that 74% of domestic violence victims are women. These numbers add up to 45,778 females who filed domestic violence complaints in just one year.
When it came to domestic violence and dating, fifteen percent of the victims indicated they were in a dating relationship.
Here are some other details of interest when it comes to analyzing statistics regarding domestic violence victims. Assault was the most common charge and seemed to occur most when the victim was involved in a co-parenting relationship.
The bottom line is that domestic violence can be a frightening experience. Whether you are the victim or the accused, you should meet with an attorney with experience in domestic violence laws.