Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

It is the policy of the Rowan Police Department to reduce the incidence and severity of Domestic Violence, protect victims of DV, and provide them with support through a combination of law enforcement and community services. It is the goal of the Rowan Police Victim Witness Services Unit to educate and empower victims of Domestic Violence within the Rowan Community.

Did you know?

  • 1 in every 4 women will experience Domestic Violence in her lifetime
  • 40% of all 911 calls are DV related
  • 2 million women are injured in the United States every year as a result of DV
  • 2,000 women are killed in the United States every year as a result of DV

Characteristics of Safe and Healthy Relationships

  • Partnerships
    • Joint decision making
    • Shared responsibilities
  • Economic Equality
    • Freedom to decide issues of work, school, and money
  • Emotional Honesty
    • Feel safe to admit and share fears and insecurities
  • Sexual Respect
    • Accept that “no” means “no”
  • Physical Safety
    • Respect partner’s physical space
    • Express self nonviolently
  • Supportive, Trusting
    • Listen and understand
    • Value partner’s opinions
  • Respectful
    • Respect right to differing feelings, friends, and activities
    • Support partner’s goals

Characteristics of Abusive Relationships

  • Domination
    • Abuser makes all decisions
    • Servant/master relationship
  • Economic Control
    • Deny job freedom
    • Withhold money
  • Emotional Manipulation
    • Use jealousy, passion, stress, and frustration to justify unacceptable actions
  • Sexual Abuse
    • Force partner into sexual acts that are humiliating or degrading
    • Forcing partner into sexual activity against his or her will
  • Physical Abuse
    • Hitting, choking, kicking, pinching, pulling hair, poking, twisting arms, tripping, pushing, slapping, biting, restraining, or using weapons against partner
  • Controlling
    • Name calling, engaging in “mind games”
    • Isolating partner from friends and loved ones – “I just want you all to myself”
  • Intimidating
    • Charming in public, menacing in private
    • Destroying property, harming pets
    • Making light of abuse – “You’re just too sensitive”

Dispelling Domestic Violence Myths

Domestic Violence only happens between married couples or people that live together.

False. Domestic Violence can occur between college roommates, people in heterosexual dating relationships, people in homosexual dating relationships, and between people that were previously in a dating relationship. DV can also occur between two people that have a child in common or are expecting a child in common.

Domestic Violence is limited to physical abuse.

False. Domestic Violence can be anything that makes you feel threatened, scared, or unsafe. In can include physical violence, emotional abuse, isolation, economic abuse, intimidation, and coercion and threats.

Victims of Domestic Violence are always females.

False. Males have the same rights under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act that females do. Males can be victimized by their female spouse or girlfriend, by a same sex partner, or by their college roommate. Instances of DV in which the victim was a male are often under reported, but are still taken very seriously by all police departments.

Domestic Violence FAQs

What is the legal definition of Domestic Violence?

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
  • Assault
  • Terroristic threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Criminal Restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Sexual assault
  • Lewdness
  • Criminal sexual contact
  • Criminal mischief
  • Burglary
  • Criminal trespass
  • Harassment
  • Stalking

Who is protected under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act?

You are protected under the PDVA if one of the above offenses was committed by:

  • Your spouse
  • Your former spouse
  • Someone that you are dating
  • Someone that you were previously dating
  • A present household member (this includes college roommates)
  • A former household member
  • Someone with whom you have a child in common

*The person committing the act of domestic violence must also be over the age of 18, or legally emancipated.

What are my rights as a Victim of Domestic Violence?

As a victim of Domestic Violence, you are entitled to all of the rights listed in the NJ Victim’s Bill of Rights. The Victim’s Bill of Rights can be found on the Rowan Victim Witness Services homepage.

As a DV victim, you also have the right to apply for a Temporary Restraining Order at any time, and the right to file criminal complaints against your abuser.

Should I call the police if I am experiencing Domestic Violence?

YES! The Rowan Police Department takes Domestic Violence very seriously. Our officers will respond immediately to any call regarding Domestic Violence; it is the primary duty of our responding officers to enforce the law and to protect the victim in any DV situation.

When the police come, will anyone be arrested?

Under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the police must arrest the person that you state perpetrated the acts of domestic violence against you if any of the following conditions apply:

  1. You exhibit any signs of injury or have a complaint of pain
  2. The perpetrator has violated or is in violation of a current restraining order
  3. There is probable cause that a weapon was involved in the commission of the act of DV
  4. There is a warrant for the perpetrator’s arrest on any other charge

Can I call the police even if the act of Domestic Violence occurred several days or weeks ago?

Yes. For your safety, we encourage people who are experiencing Domestic Violence to call the police as soon as safely possible. If you were unable to contact the police or were too afraid to contact the police at the time the violence occurred, you can still make a report later.

If the act of Domestic Violence occurred in another jurisdiction, can I still make a report at the Rowan Police Department?

As a victim of Domestic Violence, it is your right to file a police report in any of the following locations:

  1. In the jurisdiction where the act of DV occurred
  2. In the jurisdiction where the defendant resides
  3. In the jurisdiction where the victim resides or is sheltered – this means if you are a Rowan student, living on campus, you can make a report with the Rowan Police (even if the act of DV was committed somewhere else)

What is a Restraining Order?

There are two different types of restraining orders – Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) and Final Restraining Orders (FRO). Both types of restraining orders are legally enforceable documents that prohibit your abuser from having contact with you. When a restraining order of any type is in effect, your abuser cannot see you, or contact you in any way. If your abuser violates the restraining order, he or she will be arrested.

A TRO is just what it sounds like – temporary. A victim of Domestic Violence can apply for this type of restraining order at any time. If granted, the TRO will remain in effect until a scheduled hearing with a Family Court judge. At this hearing you will explain to the judge why you filed for a TRO, and the judge will decide whether or not you need a Final Restraining Order. Your abuser will also be at the FRO hearing and will have a chance to give his/her side of the story to the judge. If the judge grants a FRO, that order will remain in effect permanently (unless you choose to have the order dismissed).

How can I get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?

There are two ways to apply for a TRO. On Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30am – 3:30pm, you can go directly to the Family Court for your county.

Gloucester County - 2 South Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096 (856) 686-7410

Camden County - 101 South 5th Street, Camden, NJ 08103 (856-379-2200)

Or, you can go to your local police department.

Once you arrive at the courthouse, tell a court employee that you are there to apply for a TRO. They will give you papers to fill out and provide assistance to you. If you are not comfortable going to the courthouse by yourself, or if you are confused about the process, contact the Rowan Police Department at (856) 256-4922. A Rowan police officer will assist you in filing for a TRO.

If you wish to apply for a TRO at anytime other than regular business hours, contact the Rowan Police Department. An officer will assist you in applying for a TRO over the phone. The officer will take a statement from you regarding the incident of domestic violence that prompted you to apply for the TRO. The officer will then contact a Municipal Court Judge via phone. The judge will speak to you briefly on the phone, and will then make a determination of whether or not to grant your TRO.

When your TRO is granted, you will be given a court date to appear before a judge in Family Court. At the Family Court hearing, the judge will determine whether or not to grant a Final Restraining Order.

When I go to court for my Final Restraining Order hearing, what should I bring with me?

When you go to court to seek a Final Restraining Order, bring a copy of any police reports pertaining to Domestic Violence between you and your abuser. If you have photographs of injuries that you sustained due to physical abuse, bring the photographs with you. If there were any witnesses to the abuse, they may accompany you to court as well. If you would like a police officer to accompany you to court, contact the Rowan Police Department at (856) 256-4922 and speak with Sgt. Rachel Baum.

When I go to court for my Final Restraining Order, do I have to testify?

Yes. At the final hearing you will need to tell the judge what your abuser did to you that caused you to file for a TRO. You will also have a chance to tell the judge if there have been previous incidents of Domestic Violence between you and your abuser.

Will I have to see my abuser at the Final Restraining Order hearing?

Your abuser will be at the FRO hearing, and he will also have to testify in front of the judge. There will be protection for you in the courthouse and the courtroom. If you are fearful because your abuser is there, tell the court officer. If you need an escort out of the courthouse because you are afraid of the defendant, ask the court officer to get a sheriff’s officer to escort you. If you would like a Rowan Police officer to accompany you to court, contact the Rowan Police Department at (856) 256-4922 and speak with Sgt. Rachel Baum.

What do I do if I want to drop my Temporary Restraining Order?

If you want to drop your TRO, you still must go to court on your scheduled date. You will be asked your reasons for wanting to dismiss the complaint. The judge will want to know that you are doing this without threats or pressure from someone else. If the judge is convinced that this is your own decision, the TRO will be dismissed.

If your abuser, or anyone acting on behalf of your abuser, is pressuring you to drop your TRO it is extremely important for you to contact the police immediately!!

If I have a Restraining Order in effect that was issued in another state, does it still protect me in New Jersey?

Yes. An out of state restraining order is valid in New Jersey as long as it meets the following criteria:

  1. Written order must contain your name and your abuser’s name
  2. Order must not be expired
  3. The defendant either appeared in court or was given notice to appear in court

If you are a Rowan student or staff member and you have an existing out of state restraining order, contact the Rowan Police Department and make us aware of the order. It is a good idea to submit a copy of your order with our department so that we can keep it on file. You should also keep a copy of your order with you at all times.