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.
Implications of Remote Trials in Determining Credibility
“We want to believe the truth will prevail when in fact a better explanation of the dynamic in the courtroom is that in many trials, research suggests that the person who looks like he or she is telling the truth will win.”
Vincent Denault, Co-director, Center for Studies in Nonverbal Communication Sciences (CRIUSMM, Canada)
“Pre-COVID-19, Judges would comment about how a party was sitting in their chair, faces they were making, and if they were fidgeting, nuances unseen over remote trials. Remote trials also reduce empathy. Watching someone on a screen is impersonal and creates an environment where decisions are made with less sympathy and compassion than if you have a victim sobbing in front of you.”
Lisa Nichole Roskos, Partners' Senior Staff Attorney
*This piece would not have been possible without the contributions of Tyler Burrell, pro bono intern, University of Pennsylvania, J.D, candidate, class of 2021.
 Michael D. Roth, Laissez-Faire Videoconferencing: Remote Witness Testimony and Adversarial Truth, 48 UCLA L. Rev. 185, 210 (2000).
 Vincent Denault & Miles L. Patterson, Justice and Nonverbal Communication in a Post-pandemic World: An Evidence-Based Commentary and Cautionary Statement for Lawyers and Judges, Journal of Nonverbal Behavior (2020)
 Many of Partners’ clients find the experience of testifying in court by itself empowering when the court rules in their favor.. Whether remote trials will provide that same satisfaction and confidence in the court process is unclear.
 Zoom Interview with Vincent Denault, Co-Founder & Co-Director, Center for Studies in Nonverbal Communication Sciences of the Research Center of the Montreal Mental Health University Institute (Oct. 1, 2020).
 Id.; Justice and Nonverbal Communication in a Post-pandemic World, supra note 3.
 See Deborah Epstein & Lisa A. Goodman, Discounting Women: Doubting Domestic Violence Survivors' Credibility and Dismissing Their Experiences, 167 U. Pa. L. Rev. 399 (2019)
 Id. at 411.
 Id. at 422.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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
“Thank you for defending me. I have no words to say how well you treated me since the first phone call, the patience you had with me, the human warmth, and all the attention you gave me during the pandemic. Now, thanks to everything Partners did for me, I can restart my life with peace of mind and security. I will always be grateful”
A Partners’ Client
During this critical time, your support is more important than ever.
You make it possible for Partners to continue to provide legal services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims and help them successfully navigate a confusing legal system made more so by the pandemic. Please consider a donation to help domestic violence victims have an attorney
If you have already donated, we want to say THANK YOU!
Change a Life Challenge: One Month|$102,239|40 Lives
During the month of October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Partners held its annual Change a Life Challenge Campaign. Thanks to our incredible donors and match fund contributors, we raised $52,239 plus an additional $50,000 in matching funds for a total of $102,239! Thanks to all of you we will be able to help 40 domestic violence victims change their lives.
If you did not get the chance to donate, it is not to late: CLICK HERE.
Thank you to our Matching Donors:
Betsy Bernard and Laurie Peter
Patricia Devine-Harms and Steve Harms
Rebecca Fitzhugh and Michael Davidson
Randi and Tedd Kochman
Anne Mohan and Bruce Magaw
Stacey and Adam Saravay
Shoshana Schiff and Warren Usatine
Donna and Joseph Schwartz
Cristy and Mike Turgeon
Catherine Weiss and Samuel Huber
White House "Designs for Life" and The Gloria Foundation
Ruth and Jack Wurgaft
Provident Bank Foundation Grants $20,000 in Support of Pro Bono Porgram
The Provident Bank Foundation awarded Partners a $20,000 grant in support of our Pro Bono Program. "We are thrilled to be partnering with The Provident Bank Foundation and grateful for their generous support of Partners' work in transforming lives," says Executive Director, Julie A. Murphy. “The Foundation’s support allows Partners to continue the important work of providing legal assistance to domestic violence victims through our dedicated team of pro bono attorneys.” We appreciate Provident's vote of confidence in our work of providing justice for domestic violence victims.
New Jersey Law Journal Names Partners' Board Chair Catherine Weiss to list of 2020's Top Women in Law
Congratulations to Partners’ Chair of the Board of Trustees Catherine Weiss for being named to the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2020 Top Women in Law list! Catherine has served as Board Chair for Partners since 2018. Her dedication and commitment to domestic violence victims is unparalleled. She inspires us all with her tireless work in making the world a better place through her public interest legal work. Catherine is a Partner at Lowenstein Sandler LLP and Chair of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest.
To learn more about Catherine, click here.
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 2019
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.