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What Counts as Domestic Violence?

Many people think only a few things qualify as domestic violence, but this is incorrect. Under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, at least 19 separate actions can be considered acts of domestic violence.

These are:

(1) Homicide N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq.

(2) Assault N.J.S.2C:12-1

(3) Terroristic threats N.J.S.2C:12-3

(4) Kidnapping N.J.S.2C:13-1

(5) Criminal restraint N.J.S.2C:13-2

(6) False imprisonment N.J.S.2C:13-3

(7) Sexual assault N.J.S.2C:14-2

(8) Criminal sexual contact N.J.S.2C:14-3

(9) Lewdness N.J.S.2C:14-4

(10) Criminal mischief N.J.S.2C:17-3

(11) Burglary N.J.S.2C:18-2

(12) Criminal trespass N.J.S.2C:18-3

(13) Harassment N.J.S.2C:33-4

(14) Stalking P.L.1992, c. 209 ( C.2C:12-10 )

(15) Criminal coercion N.J.S.2C:13-5

(16) Robbery N.J.S.2C:15-1

(17) Contempt of a domestic violence order pursuant to subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-9 that constitutes a crime or disorderly persons offense

(18) Any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person protected under the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L.1991, c. 261 ( C.2C:25-17 et al.)

(19) Cyber-harassment P.L.2013, c. 272 ( C.2C:33-4.1 )


This extensive list recognizes that domestic violence comes in many forms, and can involve much more than just hitting another person.


If someone has been subjected to one of these acts by someone they have a certain type of relationship with (dating, have lived together, among others), and they are in need of protection, a Court may enter a Restraining Order. First, a Temporary Restraining Order is issued, and then after a full hearing, a Judge may issue a Final Restraining Order if certain conditions are met. A Final Restraining Order in New Jersey is permanent. It does not dissolve after a certain period of time, but continues on forever, unless a Motion to Vacate that Order is granted (which only happens in limited circumstances).


The State of New Jersey has created a sheet of Frequently Asked Questions with regards to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, which you can check out HERE. It is full of useful information. You will also find other posts on this site with additional information regarding Restraining Order and Domestic Violence in New Jersey.

609-515-6103
South Jersey Attorney with a focus on Criminal Defense & Divorce
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