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Restraining Orders against Abusers with a History of Violence

By Jamie Berger, Esq.

Restraining Order Attorneys Protect Against Abusers with a History of Violence

Morris County Family Law and Domestic Violence Attorneys Guiding clients across Morris County and Northern New Jersey.

Restraining Order Attorneys Protect Against Abusers with a History of ViolenceThe Prevention of Domestic Violence Act has become a powerful tool used by courts and law enforcement in order to curb domestic violence and to help protect those who suffer or may potentially suffer violence at the hands of a spouse, ex-spouse or domestic partner. One of the most powerful weapons of this legislation is the restraining order. However, in order to prevent abuse of this power for unjust means, the requirements for seeking a restraining order are intentionally extensive and require proof of several factors including a history of violence on the part of the individual who the restraining order is being sought against. As a result, when seeking a restraining order in New Jersey a skilled and experienced attorney is a must.

Your lawyer needs to demonstrate to a judge of a New Jersey Family Court that, along with domestic violence being proven on the date in question, a history of domestic violence exists.  According to New Jersey law, the court must consider previous acts of domestic violence by the defendant against the victim when deciding whether a final restraining order is necessary in order to protect the victim.

Are restraining orders effective in protecting victims against abusers with a history of violence?

Clear research has shown that the effectiveness of civil protection orders for victims of family violence depends on how specific and comprehensive the order is and how well it is enforced. Recent research sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and conducted by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) involved interviews with women who had filed protection orders and concluded that victims’ views on the effectiveness of protection orders vary with how accessible the courts are for victims and how well established the links are between public and private services and support resources for victims. Furthermore, violations of the protection order increased and reported effectiveness decreased in cases where the criminal record of the abuser was more serious.

In the vast majority of cases, victims felt that restraining orders protected them against repeated incidents of physical and psychological abuse as well as being valuable in helping them regain a sense of well-being. However, a protection order alone was not as likely to be effective when it came to abusers with a history of violent offenses. Women in these cases reported a greater number of problems with violations of the protection order. Many courts have taken this research into account and thus place greater weight on providing protection order for individuals whose abuser has a history of violence. Moreover, the researchers noted that the criminal prosecution of these individuals may be required to curb such behavior.

Research Shows Correlation Between Severity and Duration of Abuse

The study reaffirmed previous research that has shown a strong correlation between the severity and duration of abuse (the longer women experience abuse) the more intense and violent the behavior is likely to become and the more likely the victim is to be severely injured by their abusers.

These findings suggested:

  • Safety planning is of the highest importance at the earliest point of contact with the victim.
  • The criminal record of the abuser should be carefully considered in fashioning the protection order.

Furthermore, researchers called for additional research into the interactive aspects of domestic violence, such as:

  • Use of criminal history information in crafting orders as well as in the counseling victims
  • Effects and enforcement of specific terms of protection orders
  • Actions of police and prosecutors

Why hire an experienced attorney to help navigate your domestic violence and restraining order matter?

Consult our Morristown Domestic Violence AttorneysA Restraining Order, also known as an Order of Protection, is a civil order that may be issued by a court for the purpose of protecting an individual from being harmed, abused or harassed by an abuser. It can also keep an abuser away from the scene of domestic violence, which may include your home or where you work.

If you believe you need protection from an abuser, you must first complete paperwork that is filled out and filed at your county courthouse for a judge’s signature. Though you may complete the paperwork yourself, it is highly recommended that you contact an attorney to ask for assistance and to make sure your situation qualifies for a restraining order or if you should seek police or other assistance. Like all legal situations, it’s never a bad idea to have an experienced legal advocate on your side.

Consult our Morristown Domestic Violence and Restraining Order Attorneys Today

Domestic violence, harassment, and abuse are always serious matters. At Jacobs Berger, our legal team is experienced in defending the rights and safety of our clients across Morris County and Northern New Jersey.

If you have been abused and are seeking a restraining order against your abuser, please contact a member of our legal team today to schedule a comprehensive and confidential consultation to review your case. Reach out to us at 973-710-4366 or check our online form; we look forward to representing your legal rights.

Contact Our Morristown Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys are experienced in protecting our clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area in all family law-related issues.

To schedule a strategic planning session with one of our experienced team members regarding your particular case, please contact us online or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 354-4506.