Domestic violence is an umbrella term used to describe abusive acts of physical violence, verbal and/or physical aggression, as well as other controlling behaviors directed toward a current, or former intimate partner, as well as an adult household member. In New Jersey, domestic violence is defined to include any of 15 different criminal offences, including physical assault, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, criminal restraint, criminal trespassing, criminal sexual contact, making terroristic threats such as threats of violence or threats to kill, rudeness, criminal mischief, burglary, and even homicide.
Behavior that does not fit neatly into one of the above listed crimes may still constitute domestic abuse. For an example, a financially abusive spouse may still commit identity theft by taking out credit cards in the victim’s name and using them. Any form of domestic violence or abuse can be grounds for a restraining order and possible further criminal action against the abuser.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.