October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month In New Jersey
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in New Jersey
October is a month to raise awareness about an issue that is hard to talk about but is nonetheless a pertinent family law topic: domestic violence. Any divorce or child custody case can change substantially in light of domestic violence allegations, yet it can be scary for victims to report it due to fear of retaliation from their abuser.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month aims, in part, to educate victims about their rights and resources and let them know that they’re not alone. Earlier this mont, First Lady Mary Pat Christie announced the launch of a statewide domestic violence awareness campaign. She and others say the campaign is especially important in New Jersey because domestic violence often increases after natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.
The year-long awareness effort is a joint collaboration between Mary Pat Christie and several groups, including the NJ Department of Children and Families, the NJ Coalition for Battered Women and Verizon Wireless.
The executive director of an agency called 180 Turning Lives Around discussed why domestic violence often increases in the wake of natural disasters. She explained that families “are moving around, they lost their home, they lost their possessions, children are stressed out, they have health conditions. We have clients where domestic violence hadn’t happened before, at least where they had recognized, and all of the sudden it is happening in the home.”
Over the next year, groups collaborating in the initiative plan to educate the public about domestic-violence resources through informational pamphlets, websites and a public service announcement video, among other things.
If domestic violence is a factor contributing to or preventing your divorce, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should first contact the proper law enforcement authorities in order to make sure that you and your children are protected. Once those protections are in place, you may wish to contact a family law attorney who understands your situation and knows how to help.
Source: NJ.com, “Mary Pat Christie, Verizon announce domestic violence awareness campaign in Hazlet,” Christopher Robbins, Oct. 11, 2013