A lot has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are sheltering at home and that is causing more cases of domestic abuse. The victims and their abusers are together with little opportunity to leave.

Police departments in large cities are reporting increases in domestic abuse calls. Domestic abuse shelters are also filing up. Many abuse cases are not only because of the closeness but they are directly related to the pandemic.

Many victims do not know that domestic abuse services are still available. There are protections available, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey’s domestic abuse protections are in place

There are laws that protect victims, even during shelter-at-home orders. There are protections for domestic abuse victims – both men and women.

Here in New Jersey, there is:

  • The Prevention of Domestic Violence Act. The act allows domestic abuse victims to get restraining orders. If the abuser violates the orders, they can be arrested, prosecuted and jailed. Protection orders are affected by the pandemic.
  • Local police/ If you are concerned about leaving your home, you can call 911 or notify your local police. The police can come to your home to help.

Legal services are available during these trying times

Attorneys are available to help you. There also is still access to New Jersey courts. There are special provisions that allow emergency cases to appear before a judge. That includes domestic abuse cases.

The judges can issue temporary restraining orders. The orders can keep your abuser away from you. The limited court access could delay the hearing to make a temporary order permanent. During the pandemic, temporary restraining orders will be in effect until your court date.