The Start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is here once again. Even though the first day of fall was nearly ten days ago, October is the true beginning of fall to many New Jersey residents. But the change in months also signifies something else. October is the start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This annual observance is devoted to victims of domestic abuse, how it impacts them, and what can be done to stop the abuse.
Did you know that 20,000 phone calls are made to domestic abuse hotlines around the country every day? Did you know that 10 million people are physically abused by their partner every year? Both startling statistics are true, courtesy of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
In New Jersey, females were victims in 75 percent of all domestic violence-related offenses. That means men and children accounted for the remaining 25 percent of offenses. That goes to show that not all domestic violence victims are women.
Laws That Protect Victims
Domestic violence laws in New Jersey are straightforward when it comes to domestic abuse. According to state law, domestic violence is defined as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” The entire list of offenses that are considered acts of domestic violence include:
- Terroristic Threats
- Criminal restraints
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault
- Criminal sexual contact
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Trespass
- Criminal Coercion
- Contempt of Domestic Violence Order
- Cyber Harassment
- Crimes involving risk of death or serious bodily injury
If the police suspect an act of domestic violence has occurred or if a victim claims an injury occurred, the suspect is to be arrested. Probable cause may also be enough to warrant an arrest.
Recognizing an Abusive Relationship
Domestic violence abusers commit acts intended to harm or instill fear in another when an intimate relationship is present. You may not believe you are being abused at first. You may just think your partner is stressed at work and that his/her abusive behavior is a normal way to release stress. None of it is normal. This type of behavior needs to be stopped before it gets any further.
There are multiple signs that domestic violence is occurring. These signs can come in the form of threats or bullying, but they can be much more severe. For example, your partner could withhold your money, cut you off from your family and friends, or even sexually abuse you.
If you believe a friend or loved one is being abused, there are things you should be on the lookout for as well. These signs might include excuses for injuries, a change in his or her personality, clothing that you might suspect is covering bruises, or being overly worried to make their partner happy. If you see something, say something.
The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone Can Help
For the rest of October, our blogs will have a strong focus on domestic violence as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
If you are a victim of domestic violence in New Jersey, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today. We will make sure you are never abused again. Call today for your free consultation.