Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders During Covid-19 Quarantine
COVID-19 Lockdown Doesn’t Require You To Be Trapped With Your Abuser
The current New Jersey COVID-19 “shelter-in-place” order is difficult but necessary. As some families juggle working from home, homeschooling, or caregiving to older extended family members, many spouses or intimate partners try to cope with the anxiety, frustration, uncertainty, and fear of being further isolated at home with their domestic abuser during the COVID-19 mandatory lockdown. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), the very strategy of isolation and social-distancing that is being used to flatten the curve and reduce further disease transmission is being used by domestic abusers to install greater fear in their victims. As has been noted in China and other countries phasing out of various restrictions, the number of domestic violence cases reported to a particular police station in one area in China, had tripled in February, as compared to the same time last year.
Abuse During Quarantine
Domestic violence is rooted in power and control. Even though we may all feel a lack of control over our lives at the moment, an individual who cannot manage will take their stress out on their victim. People who could escape their abuser by going to work, school, or visiting friends or family members, can no longer escape and could be in more physical, financial, or psychological danger. With limited social interactions and opportunities, many survivors may no longer be able to access support from friends, family members who may witness abuse when it happens, or observe the aftermath of abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline says this is especially true if an abusive partner:
- withholds items like hand sanitizer, disinfectants, or the survivor’s insurance card.
- knowingly shares misinformation to frighten or control survivors, or prevent them from seeking medical care for abuse or if they have COVI-19 symptoms.
Among other factors could be the fear that services like shelters are full, closed, or no longer doing intakes.
If you are the victim of domestic violence and need immediate protection from your abuser, Jacobs Berger, LLC is here for you. With over 30 years of combined highly effective and compassionate family law experience helping clients across Florham Park, Hanover, Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and Morris County with all manner of domestic violence and restraining order issues, we are ready to put our knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate legal service to work for you today.
We are offering telephonic and video calls, conferences, mediations, and strategic planning sessions to continue to service our clients and prospective clients.
5 Steps to File a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in NJ during COVID 19
Your safety is important. The current “stay-at-home” order has closed NJ courts, but fortunately, exceptions have been made so urgent matters relating to domestic violence can still be heard by a Judge to ensure survivor safety. The first step in seeking protection is to file for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which can be relatively easily obtained to help you get the protection you need.
To get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and make sure your voice is heard:
- Submit your domestic violence case with your local police department, and apply for a TRO. If you do not request a TRO through the police department, your case may take longer to be scheduled, and may not be heard in person.
- When you file your TRO paperwork with the police, explain the urgent nature of your circumstances, and the danger of harm that could likely result if your case is not heard immediately. This should help ensure your case receives immediate attention and is heard by the Courts.
- The police will then phone a municipal court judge, who hears the request and case details and can grant you a TRO.
- If a TRO is granted the police will serve the accused with the order, at which time the accused will be informed of the final hearing date – that will be within 10 days after the TRO is issued.
- Contact an experienced domestic violence attorney who can advise you about the type of evidence necessary (i.e., social media posts, text messages, pictures, videos, etc.,) to prove your case and make the TRO permanent.
Your actual court hearing, within 10 days after the TRO is issued, maybe in person or over via phone and/or video conferencing.
Contact Our Morristown Domestic Violence Lawyers Today
At Jacobs Berger, LLC our attorneys have extensive experience providing strong and compassionate legal representation to men, women, and children in domestic violence disputes across Madison, Randolph, Hanover, Florham Park, Tewksbury, and the greater Morris County area. Whether you are in need of protection from domestic violence, or have been wrongly accused of domestic violence and need to defend your rights and future in a Final Restraining Order hearing, our firm is ready to provide you with the effective and knowledgeable legal service that you need in matters so important to your safety, and your future.