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Mission  |  Domestic Violence Info  |  Domestic Violence Agency Contacts
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Victim Services Unit Mission

The Victim Services Unit will continue to support the mission of the Field Operations Section and all other law enforcement agencies statewide.

The unit will coordinate with State, County, and Municipal agencies to develop and implement domestic violence and sexual violence training programs, and continue to effectively work with road troopers to enhance training on the proper handling of these types of crimes.

The Victim Services Unit will work to ensure that victims' needs are met and their rights are upheld in an effort toward reducing the frequency of violent injuries and deaths as a result of domestic violence incidents.

The unit will advocate for victim's rights by expanding troopers' knowledge on how to assist victims through the best means possible and educate troopers on victim's rights.

Activities of the Victim Services Unit:

  • Informing victims of their rights
  • Information and referrals to area social service providers
  • Community awareness and presentations
  • Criminal Justice Support
  • Victim Advocacy

Questions and Answers:

Q.  How can the Victim Services Unit help crime victims and/or their families?
A.  A victim liaison Investigator of the Victim Services Unit can assist victims and/or their families by telephone, and will provide assistance based on the specific needs of each situation. He/she can assist the victim and his/her family by providing information on community resources, advocacy and support while the victim is in the criminal justice system.

Q.  What if I have further questions?
A.  For further information, please contact the Victim Services Unit at 609-882-2000.

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Domestic Violence Information

What is Domestic Violence?

A general definition:
Domestic Violence is a pattern of physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse, which includes, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, isolation, and/or financial control. Domestic Violence is an intentional pattern of behavior that is used by one person as a means to harm and take power and control over another person in the context of a dating, family, roommate or caretaker relationship
                                                                   and/or
Domestic Violence, which is also called spouse abuse, intimate partner abuse, battering, and partner violence, is when an individual is in some way hurt by a person that he or she knows. These “hurts” are not limited to physical harm; a person can also be sexually abused or psychologically abused. Often a victim is hurt in more than one of these ways. Domestic Violence can continue over a long period of time and becomes more frequent and more severe over time.

A legal definition:
Domestic violence means the occurrence of one or more of the following criminal offenses upon a person protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act:

Homicide N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 Assault N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1
Terroristic Threats N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3 Kidnapping N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1
Criminal Restraint N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2 False Imprisonment N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3
Sexual Assault N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2 Lewdness N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4
Criminal Sexual Contact N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3 Criminal Mischief N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3
Burglary N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 Criminal Trespass N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3
Harassment N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4 Stalking N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10

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 who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a 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 actors:

  • 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 are the criteria for an Emancipated Minor?

A person who is under 18 years of age and meets any of the following conditions:

  • Has been married
  • Has entered the military
  • Has a child
  • Is pregnant
  • Is declared by a court or administrative agency to be emancipated

***Please be aware if the actor in under 18 years of age and is not emancipated, it is not domestic violence but is considered an act of juvenile delinquency.

What legal remedies can I seek if I have been a victim of domestic violence?

You have the right to file a civil complaint under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, along with a criminal complaint. Both complaints should be filed for your protection since the civil complaint is designed to protect you and the criminal complaint is designed to punish the abuser.

What is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

This is an order that is issued by a judge who is satisfied that demanding circumstances exist enough to excuse the failure of the victim to appear personally and that sufficient grounds for granting the temporary restraining order have been shown. To protect the victim from the defendant, the judge may grant within the temporary restraining order that the:

  • The abuser is forbidden from returning to the scene of the Domestic Violence as well as other locations to be determined.
  • The abuser is prohibited from future acts of Domestic Violence.
  • The abuser is forbidden from possessing a firearm or weapons.
  • The abuser is forbidden from having any communication or contact with the victim or the victim’s relatives in person, via the telephone, or in writing. This includes making or causing anyone else to do so, on the abuser’s behalf.
  • The abuser is required to pay temporary child support to victim.
  • The abuser is required to reimburse the victim for any medical expenses incurred due to injury caused by defendant.
  • The victim is given exclusive possession of the residence.
  • The victim is given temporary custody of the children.

How do I get a TRO?

Contact the Family Part of the Superior Court in your county Monday through Friday (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.).
On the weekends, holidays, and after 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, you can request a TRO from the Municipal Court in your area – this is done through your State or local police department.
To receive information about contacting a court for a TRO, call your State or local police department or call the Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-572-SAFE (7233).
Within 10 days of the TRO the court will schedule a hearing. Both you and your abuser will have a chance to testify. The judge will consider both testimonies before issuing a Final Restraining Order.

Summary findings from the New Jersey Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board Report February 2003:

  • In most New Jersey homicide-suicides, the perpetrators were men, who Killed their intimate partners,
  • Typically when the woman was planning to leave or the couple had recently separated. Repeatedly, experts in the field of Domestic Violence report that the most dangerous time for the victim is when she decides to leave the perpetrator.
  • There was often evidence of a history of Domestic Violence, including police reports of prior incidents of violence, or threats of violence and/or reports, or suspicions of abuse by family, friends and employers.
  • Lastly, guns were used in nearly all of these fatalities.
  • Victims and perpetrators represented the diversity of residents in the general population with one exception: nearly all perpetrators were men, and nearly all victims were women.
  • Findings in New Jersey match the commonly reported scenario of these deaths nationwide.

For further information on Domestic Violence awareness and services available to victims click domestic violence agency contacts

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Domestic Violence Agency Contacts

The New Jersey State Police does not conduct counseling services; however, assistance is available from the following organizations and agencies.

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Sexual Violence Information

What is sexual violence?

Sexual Violence is any form of unwanted, unwelcome or coercive sexual behavior. Sexual violence exists on a continuum from sexual harassment to rape and can include anything from stalking /sexual stalking on the internet to inappropriate touching to penetration without the victim’s (a) consent or (b) with a victim who is unable to consent. A victim who is unable to consent is someone:

  • Under the age of 13
  • Under the age of 16 when the assailant is at least four years older
  • With diminished mental capacity – which can mean a victim who is drunk, drugged, high, unconscious, or has a developmental disability.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual Assault, often referred to as rape, is legally defined differently in each state. In New Jersey, the law defines sexual assault as "the penetration, no matter how slight, in which physical force or coercion is used or in which the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated". For the full definition of sexual assault please refer to NJSA 2C:14-1.

The law in New Jersey, which is gender neutral, does not specify male or female, but uses the words "actor" and "victim" to describe the persons involved.

Consent: According to New Jersey law, age, physical impairment and mental impairment all contribute to a person's ability to give consent. A person must be 16 years of age to legally consent to sexual activity. A person cannot give consent to sexual activity with someone who has "the duty to care" for them unless they are over the age of 18. Individuals that fall into "the duty to care" category would include parents or guardians, and those in any type of formal supervisory role. If individuals are between the ages of 13 and 15 they can legally consent to sexual activity with a partner who is not more than 4 years older then themselves.

An individual who is physically or mentally impaired, generally, cannot give consent to sexual activity. Physical or mental impairment includes: visual, speech or hearing impaired, a person with a cognitive impairment; a person who is unconscious or sleeping; or a person who is voluntarily or involuntarily under the influence of alcohol or other substance(s).

Criminal Sexual Contact is legally defined as "intentional, non-consensual touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of a victim's or actor's sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast, for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor," (NJSA 2C:14-3).

Sexual Violence can happen to anyone regardless of employment or educational level, race or ethnic background, religion, marital status, physical ability, age or sexual orientation.

If you have been Sexually Victimized

  • Get to a safe place.
  • Don’t bathe, shower, douche, change your clothes, eat, drink, smoke, urinate, brush your teeth, gargle or anything else that might destroy or wash away evidence, including evidence of a drug facilitated assault.
  • Contact your county Rape Care Program for emotional support, information and to learn about your options.
  • Seek medical attention for injuries, sexually transmitted infections, HIV and possible pregnancy. Hospitals and satellite emergency departments are required to provide care and information to sexual assault victims about emergency contraception and the contraceptives upon request.
  • Have your Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) activated if you wish to have forensic evidence collected by calling your local police department or dialing 911.

What is a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)?

The Sexual Assault Response Team consists of a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), a rape care advocate and a law enforcement officer. The SART uses a team concept in providing the compassionate and all-inclusive medical care, emotional and informative support, along with the gathering of crucial evidence of the sexual assault incident. For the most part and significantly, the SART will help to support victims in order to formulate knowledgeable resolutions concerning their care and healing.

When is the Sexual Assault Response Team activated?

The SART can be activated 24 hours a day and 7 days a week providing:

  • The victim is 13 years of age or older.
  • The assault occurred within the last 5 days.
  • The victim chooses to utilize SART services.

Options available to you if you become the victim of sexual violence:

  • A Rape Care Advocate from the county Rape Care Center is available to you 24 hours-a-day to accompany you through all medical, legal and court procedures. A Rape Care Advocate is someone who has received specialized training in the dynamics of sexual violence and is knowledgeable about assisting victims through the aftermath of a sexual assault. Rape Care Advocates can provide emotional support and information to you and your significant others, as well as explain your options.
  • Individual and group counseling is available at each county Rape Care Center.
  • All services and fees are confidential, and are available regardless of when the assault occurred or whether a victim reports the crime.
  • If the assault happened within the past five days and you are over the age of 13, the county Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) can be activated.

Where are the services available?

Click on Sexual Violence Services

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NJ Support Programs

The New Jersey State Police does not conduct counseling services; however, assistance is available from the following organizations and agencies.

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Legal Services

The New Jersey State Police does not conduct legal counseling services; however, legal assistance is available from the following organizations and agencies:

Legal Services of New Jersey
Statewide Legal Hotline
Toll Free Hotline: 1 (888) LSNJ-LAW [1-888-576-5529]

Web: www.lsnj.org

The Department of Law and Public Safety
Division on Civil Rights

Phone: (609) 292-4605
Web: www.state.nj.us/lps/dcr/

New Jersey State Bar Association
New Jersey Law Center, One Constitution Square
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1520
Phone: (732) 249-5000
Fax: (732) 249-2815

In addition, many local Domestic Violence Services, Rape Care Centers and Support, Education, Employment & Training Programs offer legal clinics.

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NJ State Police Contacts

Victim Service Unit Contact Information  609-882-2000

 

A/SFC Brian Miller #5752

Unit Head

ext. 2375

Maggie-lou Mari

Investigator I

ext. 2159

Christine Roeder

 Investigator II

ext. 2163 

Rachel Lester

 Investigator II 

ext. 2336

Randy Wentzell

Investigator II

ext. 2164

Leigh Smith

Investigator II

ext. 2162

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