Domestic violence is defined by N.J.S. 2C: 25-10, which sets forth various acts that could constitute an act of domestic violence. For instance, homicide, assault, terroristic threat, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, loudness, criminal mischief, burglary, harassment, stalking, robbery, and coercion. The newest act, which is not part of the statute at this moment but we are seeing that it developed through case law, is sexting and a transmission of sexual images through texting, emailing, and internet-based media.
What an attorney can do to protect the victim is to inform the victim, to teach the victim, and to empower the victim because there is no way an attorney can always be in the room at the exact moment when someone is going to commit an act of domestic violence. By empowering someone who is subject to that cycle of violence, you can hopefully prevent that cycle from continuing.
Abigale M. Stolfe is a partner at Stolfe Zeigler, a boutique family law firm that obtains favorable outcomes for high-net-worth, complex, and litigious cases.