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New Jersey Domestic Violence on the Rise

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The latest domestic violence report from the New Jersey State Police showed a significant increase in the number of reported domestic violence incidents.  Many divorce proceedings begin with complaints of domestic violence, or they may lead to incidents of violence because of the strong emotions involved.  Read on for more about this alarming trend and increase in domestic violence, and contact a compassionate New Jersey domestic violence family law lawyer with any questions.

Increase in domestic violence offenses, especially homicides

According to the most recent domestic violence report from the New Jersey State Police, there was a three percent increase in domestic violence incidents reported by police compared to the previous report, for a total of 63,420.  In Union county, reports of domestic violence increased by a disturbing 48 percent.

Assaults and harassment were the most common forms of domestic violence reported across New Jersey, representing 43 percent each.  Sexual assaults are on the rise as well, having increased from 204 to 223 in the latest report.  In 28 percent of all reported incidents, children were either involved or witnessed the event.  Alcohol was involved in 22 percent of reported incidents.  

Perhaps the most alarming trend identified in the report is the recent rise in domestic violence-related murders.  Reports of domestic homicide were up six percent over the prior year, a statistic made worse by the fact that the last report showed a 16 percent increase in domestic violence murders over the year before.  Arrests for domestic homicides have doubled since 2012.

Of note, police made arrests in only 31 percent of reported domestic violence cases.

Types of domestic violence in New Jersey

While many people picture assault when they think of domestic violence, domestic violence takes many forms.  Per New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, domestic violence offenses also include false imprisonment, kidnapping, sexual assault, lewd conduct, burglary, harassment, criminal trespass, threats, and stalking.  New Jersey law also recognizes cyber-harassment and cyberstalking as predicate acts of domestic violence. 

It is also important to remember that while the majority of incidents involve female victims, men also experience domestic violence.  Men were victims in 26 percent of the reported domestic violence incidents, including 16 of the 52 domestic violence-related murders.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been abused or fear that violence is imminent, get to a safe place and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.  If you need legal advice and representation in a domestic violence proceeding, contact the New Jersey family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation on your case, in Union at 908-964-0102.

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