thank you so much for your kindness in my time of need. i nowhave some HOPE.
Thank you for a wonderful life. Keep up the fantastic work on behalf of those of us who cannot fight for ourselves.
Thank you again for all your help. It is a comfort to know that there are caring people like you in this world.
My thank you seems so small compared to all you’ve done, but it comes from my heart.
Report: Impact of COVID-19 Intensifies the Shadow Pandemic of Domestic Violence in New Jersey
Partners for Women and Justice (Partners) and Seton Hall Law School Center for Social Justice, with assistance from McCarter & English, LLP, have released a report that examines the possible causes for the heightened prevalence and severity of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the responses of state and social service agencies.
The report, entitled Impact of COVID-19 Intensifies the Shadow Pandemic of Domestic Violence in New Jersey, examines how the economic consequences of COVID-19 are increasing the danger for domestic violence victims, and how COVID-19 has allowed people who abuse their intimate partners to exercise power and control in new ways. All available indicia demonstrate that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, both the rates and severity of domestic violence have increased substantially in New Jersey.
Some of the key findings listed in the report include:
- The economic impacts of COVID-19 have magnified the dangerous combination of poverty and domestic violence, especially to marginalized victims of color.
- Job losses, hunger, housing instability, and lack of child care are increasing the risk of domestic violence at the same time as these effects impair victims’ options for leaving.
- Perpetrators are using power and control tactics, including isolation, intimidation, and coercion/threats, in new ways because of COVID-19 to prevent domestic violence survivors from seeking help.
- Calls to New Jersey domestic violence hotlines in the first four months of the year came in at rates similar to those in 2019, but then exploded after the initial stay-at-home restrictions were lifted. Meanwhile, in the first nine months of 2020, reports of domestic violence to police rose by double digit percentages in a number of cities in New Jersey, including Newark and Elizabeth.
- Domestic violence social services organizations have successfully pivoted to serving victims during the pandemic by remote means and reducing shelter capacity, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19; but victims, nevertheless, continue to face obstacles to receiving services.
The report proposes four essential actions that New Jersey lawmakers and government officials should continue to promote safety for domestic violence victims and their children during this second wave of the pandemic and beyond:
(1) allocate financial resources to address the long-term housing needs of domestic violence victims and survivors;
(2) provide long-term financial support to enable social service agencies to offer counseling to the many victims and children in desperate need of therapeutic treatment who have been waiting months for that treatment;
(3) increase collection and utilization of data on the incidence of domestic violence to inform policy choices related to domestic violence services as well as to educate the public on this shadow pandemic; and
(4) address structural inequality with an array of long-term policies because deep poverty and domestic violence are chronic and, even life threatening, risks to victims of domestic violence.
The report draws on research, fact investigation, and institutional expertise as well as interviews with government officials, service providers in many of New Jersey’s domestic violence agencies, and victims themselves. The report would not have been possible without the critical assistance provided by McCarter & English, LLP.
To read the entire report, click here.
Star Ledger Opinion Piece by Partners' Policy Counsel
Check out this opinion piece in The Star Ledger by Partners’ Policy Counsel, Trish Perlmutter. The New Jersey prison release bill, pending in the State Assembly, is necessary to protect inmates from COVID-19, but the bill in its current form fails to adequately protect domestic violence victims. Neither a prison sentence nor a prison release should threaten the health and safety of any resident of the Garden State.
Courts are Now Available for Temporary Restraining Orders
Victims of domestic violence can now apply for a temporary restraining order:
1. By telephone to the Superior Court;
2. By in-person application to the Superior Court (you must call for an appointment);*
3. Through the police department at night and weekends or in connection with a police report.
Click here for New Jersey Superior Court county phone numbers to call and apply remotely for a temporary restraining order.
*COVID-19 safety precautions must be adhered to for in-person court appointments.
Check out The Star Ledger article COVID made it harder for domestic violence victims to get restraining ordes. That's changed., which features comment by Partners Policy Counsel, Trish Perlmutter. Thanks to the work of Trish and others, domestic violence victims now have expanded access to temporary restraining orders and protection from further abuse.
Get Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic
There is no greater priority for Partners for Women and Justice (Partners) than the safety and wellness of our clients and those seeking assistance for legal matters in domestic violence.
Victims of domestic violence seeking legal assistance for restraining orders and related family court matters in Essex, Union, Middlesex, Passaic, and Hudson Counties can text (732-535-6318), email (email@example.com), or call 973-233-0111 and leave a message with a safe call-back number. Partners advocates monitor voicemail throughout each day and will return calls as soon as possible to determine if we can assist you.
If you are in danger, please call 911 or go to your local police department for assistance.
Partners for Women and Justice is committed to ensuring that survivors, who may be under increased pressure and potentially increased danger during this time, continue to have access to support and safety. These are exceptional times and we will continue to serve you to the best of our ability.
Technology is a powerful and easily accessible tool for people to connect with each other. When abusers use technology to intimidate, control, shame, and monitor their victims, it becomes a tool of abuse.
- Use Find My Phone apps
- Hide GPS on a victim's car
- Monitor phone activity
- Install hidden video/voice on phone
- Access hidden video/voice recording machines
- Hack into email and social media accounts
- Block or fake a number to call or text
- Use a trusted ally's number to call or text
- Create a fake socila media account to impersonate a victim
- Text, call or email constantly
- Send threatening messages
- Demand victim check-in and prove location
- Post threats on social media
- Post or threaten to post intimate pictures and/or videos on social media
- Solicit sex on Craigslist or social media using a victim's photo, name and contact information
2021 Celebrate Hope Virtual Spring Benefit
“I stayed out of fear – not knowing how I could take care of my son or myself…It took the help of my Partners attorneys to advocate for me and convince the judges to grant a final restraining order and uphold the challenges to custody of my son.”
The Client Speaker
Many of you joined us last evening to hear the inspiring story shared by our courageous client and learned how, with the help of Partners, she and her son found their way out of abuse.
YOU helped us raise $256,699!
This will enable us to serve more people with quality legal representation and to fight for justice through our advocacy work.
Thanks to you, Partners will be able to help even more domestic violence and sexual assault victims!
Take a look at the Spring Benefit Program Journal by clicking here.
If you did not get the chance to donate, it is not too late. Click here to donate.
Investors Foundation Grants $5,000 to Partners
Partners recently received a $5,000 grant from Investors Foundation. The grant will support our work to provide free legal assistance to low-income victims and survivors of domestic violence. The heightened prevalence and severity of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a greater demand for our services.
"We are very excited to be partnering with Investors Foundation and grateful for their support of our work in providing free legal assistance to low-income domestic violence and sexual assault victims,” says Executive Director, Julie A. Murphy.
We appreciate the vote of confidence in our work of providing justice for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Thank you to Investors Foundation!
Pretrial Safety Project
On July 20, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that defendants who violate pretrial release conditions cannot be charged with criminal contempt. State v. Antoine McCray; State v. Sahaile Gabourel (2020). However, the Court accepted the argument advanced by Partners, as a friend of the court, that no-contact orders must be fully enforceable in order to protect victims of domestic violence. This means that the Court carved out an exception to the holding allowing prosecutors to charge defendants with contempt if they violate no-contact orders. This decision will help deter violations of no-contact orders and protect victims of domestic violence.
Special thanks to Partners’ pro bono counsel, Larry Lustberg and Michael Noveck, of Gibbons for their outstanding work as well as to our fellow amici, the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Rachel Coalition, the Essex County Family Justice Center, and the New Jersey Crime Victims Law Center.
From Left to Right: Trish Perlmutter, Policy Counsel for Partners; Michele Lefkowitz, Director of Legal Programs for Partners; Larry Lustberg, Director of the John J. Gibbons Fellowship for Public Interest & Constitutional Law; Jane M. Hanson, Executive Director of Partners; and Michael Noveck, Associate at Gibbons P.C.
Annual Report 2020
Partners for Women and Justice empowers low-income victims and survivors of domestic violence to build safe and secure futures for themselves and their children by providing equal access to justice. We offer quality legal assistance in domestic violence and family law matters.