Divorce-Related Domestic Violence in New Jersey: Recent Cases

A Jersey City man shot his wife repeatedly over a divorce filing just two weeks after Giorgina Cimino Nigro was murdered in Colonia, NJ by her ex-husband.

By Divorce Magazine
Updated: November 06, 2015
Divorce-Related Domestic Violence

A Jersey City woman was shot and critically injured by her estranged husband after filing for a divorce. The violent incident occurred on August 6th – just two weeks after another New Jersey woman, Giorgina Cimino Nigro of Colonia, was murdered by her abusive ex-husband.

Marc Harrison reportedly shot his wife eight times after learning of her divorce filing. He now faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and multiple weapons offenses. Police discovered the woman on Thursday morning in her Jersey City home. She named Harrison as the shooter and told authorities that his violence was ignited by her decision to file for divorce. 

She has been hospitalized in critical condition. Harrison’s bail was set at $500,000. 

The shooting highlights the frightening realities faced by victims of domestic violence, especially since it occurred only two weeks after another tragic case of domestic abuse resulted in the death of Giorgina Cimino Nigro at the hands of her ex-husband, Vito Nigro.

Giorgina, 32, detailed her husband’s abusive history in a divorce filing six years ago, accusing him of extreme cruelty and physical assault. In February 2009, she claimed her husband smashed a chair over her back while she was pregnant and smashed her head into a car window, among other accusations. Not surprisingly, her divorce filing states that her husband’s violent actions had caused her to “fear for her safety.” 

Although their divorce was finalized in 2009, the pair continued living together. Authorities say Giorgina was bludgeoned to death while she slept in the couple’s home on July 22, 2015, and Vito, 42, is being charged with his ex-wife’s murder. After Giorgina died, he attempted suicide and remains hospitalized. His bail is set at $750,000. 

Giorgina’s mother, Angela Cimino, said the two were planning to remarry. However, she also claimed that her daughter only went back to Vito because he had threatened her family.

“She was so afraid,” Angela Cimino said. “It’s too late to do anything now. My poor girl.”

The emerging pattern of divorce-related New Jersey domestic violence incidences is grim to say the least, and raises important questions about how victims should protect themselves while attempting to exit or navigate abusive relationships.

"These two events are chilling reminders of how far we have yet to go in preventing domestic violence. My heart breaks for these victims and their families," says Rosanne De Torres, a family lawyer in Flemington, New Jersey. "As family law attorneys, we have a unique and vital responsibility to help our clients recognize and seek protection from abusive relationships. We've got to ask the right questions during our consultations about what is going on in their home. We've got to encourage victims to seek protection and to use the resources available through the domestic violence agencies that exist throughout New Jersey. Many victims do not understand that what they are experiencing is abuse and that they have resources available to them to learn about the cycle of domestic violence and to stay safe."

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By Divorce Magazine| August 12, 2015

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