MAYS LANDING- The month of October is observed as DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is sharing the total number of domestic violence victims that have been serviced by the Office of Victim Witness Advocacy from 2018 to the present . Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill and the ACPO staff recognize the need for the awareness of domestic violence and we continue to work hard for victims of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically.
“The ACPO staff is fully committed to providing victims of domestic violence with all of the services that are available to assist them, because everyone deserves to have relationships free of domestic violence. The effects of domestic violence can be very traumatic and our staff is always here to assist the victims of this abuse,” said Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Cary Shill.
Victims Serviced by ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy 2018- Present
Total DV victims serviced October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021: 1,215
YTD DV victims serviced in 2021: 1047
Total DV victims serviced in 2020: 905
Total DV victims serviced in 2019: 778
Total DV victims serviced in 2018: 708
The ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy is continuing to notify victims of their rights and provide crisis intervention and referrals during the coronavirus pandemic. Since our return to work fulltime, we have been able to provide additional support and advocacy for victims of domestic violence in court and in the community on a more regular basis.
ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy services provided to victims of domestic violence include:
-Crisis intervention, with referrals to counseling for themselves and their children to address the chronic trauma, control issues.
-Social service referrals and advocacy. Clients need to know what agencies are available in the community to help them, and how they can access those services.
-Criminal justice advocacy/explanation of the criminal and family court process. Includes explaining why the police have to arrest in certain DV offenses, why the prosecutor’s office pursues DV cases, and discussing safety plans.
-Court accompaniment to provide advocacy and emotional support
-Advising victims of their rights as a DV victim, including their right to request a restraining order and explaining how a restraining order may assist them
-Notifying victims of court dates, outcomes
-Information about the VINE system so victims can be notified when an offender’s custody status changes
-Transportation to court to provide their Victim Impact Statement (if needed)
-Assistance with their Victim Impact statement, and request for restitution
-Facilitating HIV testing of offenders in certain sexual assault/DV cases
-Victims of Crime Compensation Office assistance, including advising the victim of the financial reimbursement and assistance/support they can receive from the VCCO-relocation assistance, loss of support, reimbursement for medical/counseling and other expenses; assistance with completing the VCCO application, advocacy on their behalf to the VCCO.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN NEW JERSEY
• 35.8% of New Jersey women and 27.4% of New Jersey men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
• There were 52 domestic violence homicides in New Jersey in 2016, comprising 14% of total homicides.
• There were 63,420 domestic violence offenses reported by the police in 2016.
• Children were involved or present during 28 percent of 2016 domestic violence offenses.
• Women were the victims in 74% of 2016 domestic violence cases.
• In 2016, there were 10,308 domestic violence complaints against persons who had previously been respondents to protective orders.
• In 2016, there were 2,636 arrests for protective order violations.
• Dating violence comprised 15% of intimate partner violence in 2016.
• On one day in 2019, domestic violence programs served 1,230 survivors and their children. Another 126 requests for services went unmet due to lack of resources.
• As of December 31, 2019, New Jersey had submitted 44 domestic violence misdemeanor and twenty active protective order records to the NICS Index.
• In 2015, there were 5,994 active protection orders in the National Crime information Center for New Jersey.
~Information from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)~
▪️Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) was launched nationwide in October 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues while raising awareness for those issues.
Anyone with information, regarding serious crimes is asked to contact the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at https://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at http://www.crimestoppersatlantic.com/. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.