Dating Relationships and Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender.
Domestic Violence is a physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse pattern, which includes, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or financial control. Domestic Violence can continue over a long period of time and becomes more frequent and more severe over time.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels, occurring in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.
Typically, who can be a victim of domestic violence?
Domestic violence acts are established by the relationship between the offender and the victim. A person protected by the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act is 18 years of age or older, or who is an emancipated minor, and has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person present or former household member. Any person, regardless of age, sex, or physical/psychological condition, who has been subjected to domestic violence by one of the following individuals:
- A person with whom the victim has a child in common
- A person with whom the victim anticipates having a child in common if one of the parties is pregnant.
- A person with whom the victim has had a dating relationship.
What do the Courts consider a dating relationship?
There is no exact legal definition of a “dating relationship” in New Jersey that can be used in these cases. In fact, “dating” is an ambiguous term that will have different meanings for different people. For some, a dating relationship is means date nights and meeting the parents; for others, it may mean taking vacations or living together.
There are several criteria to determine a dating relationship according to the law:
- Was there a minimal social, interpersonal bonding of the parties over and above mere casual fraternization?
- How long did the alleged dating activities continue before the acts of domestic violence alleged?
- What were the nature and frequency of the parties’ interactions?
- What were the parties’ ongoing expectations concerning the relationship, either individually or jointly?
- Did the parties demonstrate an affirmation of their relationship before others by statement or conduct?
- Are there any other reasons unique to the case that support or detract from a finding that a “dating relationship” exists?
How did C.C v. J.A.H Change how Dating and Domestic Violence Are viewed?
The New Jersey Appellate Division on June 11th made a landmark decision involving a couple and domestic violence. The couple had never gone on an actual date but saw each other regularly at the gym. They had never gone out to eat, to a movie, on a weekend trip, nothing of that sort. They never engaged in sexual relations, kissed, or even held hands. What they had done is exchange approximately 1,300 text messages in 5 weeks, including intimate/sexually toned texts. When one party began pressuring the other to have sex, insulting and threatening the other party. When one of the parties tried to cease the contact and end any further relationship, the other party’s communications became threatening and malicious, which led to a request for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order). It was denied because a dating relationship between them has not been adequately substantiated. The case was taken to the New Jersey Appellate Division, where the decision was made in favor of the offended party. The court found that the relationship had transformed into a dating relationship, which allowed the victim to be protected under the Domestic Violence Act.
In a dating relationship and need help? Consult with an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney Today
Our unique approach to domestic violence issues centers around creating solutions to your problems. We understand just how important your safety is, and we are prepared to help you take the necessary steps to give you peace of mind. By listening carefully to all of your needs and concerns and keeping you highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we believe we can work together to achieve the results you need in your unique legal situation.