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The National Domestic Violence Hotline Number:
1-800-799-SAFE  (7233)   or TTY  1-800-787-3224
WomensLaw.org was founded in February 2000 by a group of lawyers, teachers, advocates, and web designers interested in seeing the power of the Internet work for more disadvantaged people and specifically for survivors of domestic violence. We pulled together our experiences and resources and launched this website in October 2001.  WomensLaw.org changed its formal name from Women's Law Initiative in 2005. 

The Mission of WomensLaw.org is to provide easy-to-understand legal information and resources to women living with or escaping domestic violence or sexual assault. By reaching out through the Internet, we empower women and girls to lead independent lives, free from abuse.  

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:
  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Does not want you to work.
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
  • Humiliates you in any way.

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:

  • Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
  • Scared you by driving recklessly.
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Forced you to leave your home.
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Used physical force in sexual situations.

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  • Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
  • Held you down during sex.
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
  • Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex.

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions you may be in an abusive relationship; please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) or your local domestic violence center to talk with someone about it.

Each year in America approximately 4 million women are battered by their partners.  Domestic abuse affects people of all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and religious groups. Children from homes of domestic violence suffer physical abuse, or neglect at a much higher rate than the national average. Children who witness abuse suffer emotional trauma.  They may experience confusion, stress and fear, which can lead to stress induced health problems. Domestic abuse is a crime and can result in the abuser being removed or restrained from the home and/or jailed. 


 Loveisrespect.org  (Love is Respect)  National Dating Abuse Helpline | 1-866-331-9474 | 1-866-331-8453 TTY

loveisrespect.org provides resources for teens, parents, friends and family, Peer Advocates, government officials, law enforcement officials and the general public. All communication is confidential and anonymous.


About the Helpline

loveisrespect, National Dating Abuse Helpline was launched in February 2007 with help from founding sponsor, Liz Clairborne Inc. It is a national 24-hour resource that can be accessed by phone or the internet, specifically designed for teens and young adults. The Helpline and loveisrespect.org offer real-time one-on-one support from trained Peer Advocates. Managed by the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), loveisrespect, National Dating Abuse Helpline operates from a call center in Austin, Texas.

Peer Advocates are trained to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, law enforcement, and service providers.


Contact Love is Respect (loveisrespect)

If you have questions about teen dating abuse, please contact them at www.loveisrespect.org   If you wish to remain anonymous please enter “site visitor” in the ‘name’ fields or leave them blank. An email address is required to use this form.

However, if you do not feel safe receiving email, please go to a safe location and contact the National Dating Abuse Helpline at:
- 1-866-331-9474, or
- TTY 1-866-331-8453

If you are looking to order mini posters and quiz cards as seen at an exhibit, please use this form. You can also find print-ready pdfs in our resource center.

JBWS: Jersey Battered Women's Service:  24 hour helpline:  1-877-782-2873   (877-R-U-ABUSED)
Domestic Violence is when one person controls another or coerces the other in an intimate relationship. Types of abuse include physical, verbal, emotional, economic and sexual as well as intimidation and threats of violence.   
Who are the victims?  Most are women abused by men. However there are cases of women who abuse their male partner, women who abuse women and men who abuse men.  A person may be a victim even if he/she is not legally married to the abusive partner, is gay or lesbian, separated or divorces or is abuse by someone else in the home such as a parent, sibling or child.
Why doesn't the victim leave?
Most victims want to leave and may try to leave. Some times their partner uses intimidation and violence to stop them, and they fear retaliation. Victims don't stay because they like or need the abuse. They stay, hoping the violence will end, because they are financially dependent on the abuser, lack alternative housing, or are trying to keep the family together. They stay hoping change is possible. 
Services offered by JBWS:
24 hour helpline - Emergency safe house for women and their children - Counseling and legal assistance- Children's services
Transitional housing- life skills education- Vocational counseling- Community education- Training for professionals- Teenage Dating abuse prevention- Batterers Intervention 
More than 75 paid staff and over 100 volunteers work together with the help of the community to fulfill the agency mission.  
What School Staff Can Do About Domestic Violence:
School staff can help students deal with domestic violence and dating abuse. Principals, teachers, nurses, aids, counselors, bus drivers, crossing guards, custodians and other support staff can model respect in relationships, create safety for all students, assist students affecting by dating abuse and domestic violence, and motivate students to create change.
  • Learn more about domestic violence and dating abuse and how it impacts the students in your school.
  • Invite speakers such as Jersey Battered Women's Shelters to conduct trainings about domestic violence, the impact of it on children, teen dating abuse, how to help students experiencing this and resoruces for school personnel.
  • Sponsor seminars for parents about fostering healthy relationship and information about domestic violence and dating abuse.
  • Recognize that dating violence happens for same-sex couples too and provide information about domestic violence and dating violence.
  • Conduct dating abuse prevention education in health classes. 
  • Have written information about domestic violence and dating violence available to students, parents and school staff. Hang flyers in the bathrooms, main office, school nurse's office and other common areas.
  • Sponsor and encourage student led events, such as a dating abuse prevention week, or other activities from student leadership groups.
  • Investigate your school district policy on domestic violence and dating abuse. If you think they need revising ask the JBWS for help.
  • Prevent language in schools that is dehumanizing and sexist. 
  • Create a culture where physical, emotional, sexual abuse, along with controlling and coercive behavior is unacceptable.
  • Have male teachers, coaches and other male school staff model respect in their relationships. "Coaching Boys into Men" through the Family Violence Prevention Fund is a useful resource.  
  • For more information or to schedule a presentation through JBWS call
  •  Community Relations Department at 973-267-7520      WWW.JBWS.org
Domestic Violence Support Groups by County: 
Burlington County:
Providence House: Professionally run, Support, education, counseling and shelter for victims who are or have been in abusive situations. Meets in Delran. Children's counseling services: Call 1-877-871-7551
Camden County:
Women's Domestic Violence Support Group: (Bilingual) Professionally run. Mutual support for female victims/survivors of domestic violence. Educational series and advocacy. Call 856-963-5668 (day) Web site: www.ccwomenscenter.org       Camden: meets Thursday, 12 noon -2pm    Collingswood: Tuesday 6-8pm
Essex County:
Babyland Family Violence Program: Professionally run, Support for women who have been in abusive relationships. Aim is to educate, liberate and empower domestic violence victims and survivors. Shelter and hotline. Pre-requisite requirements.  Also offers a men's PEACE group ($2 fee) Meets at various locations in Essex County.  973-484-4446 (24hour) Web site:  www.babylandfamilyservices.org
SERV  (Services Empowering Rights of Victims)  Support and education for women survivors of domestic violence. Meets Monday 6:30 pm  Glassboro  call 856-881-3335
Hudson County:
Women's Project Groups: Professionally run, Support, education, workshops and groups to help women on subjects such as self-esteem, separation/divorce, domestic violence, employment and stress management.  Meetings vary. Christ Hospital, 176 Palisade Ave, Jersey City.  Call first Michele 201-795-8375 ex. 8416 (day)
SAFE in Hunterdon:  Professionally run, Support group and services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Also serves children who are witnesses of domestic violence. Offers a men's compassion therapy program for a fee. Meetings vary, 47E Main Street, Flemington.  908-788-7666 day or 888-099-4033 (24 hour hotline)  TTY: 856-954-0100   web site:  www.safeinhunterdon.org      email:   agency@safeinhunterdon.org
Middlesex County:
Manavi: South Asian Prof run, Provides emotional support for any South Asian woman (Indian, Pakistan, Bangladishi, Nepali, Sri Lankan) as they work through the effects of abuse. A safe space for women to share personal experiences. Provides a comfortable atmosphere to develop relationships which are trusting and caring. Meetings vary: 3-4:30pm Manavi, New Brunswick.  Childcare available.  Call 732-435-1414   web site:   www.manavi.org    eamail:  manavi@manavi.org
The Next Step:  Professionally run, Emotional support for current and former victims of domestic violence (regardless of marital status or sexual orientation). Group explores options and tools to get back control in their lives.  Various meeting locations throughout Middlesex County.  Call 732-725-1689  (all calls are confidential).
Women Aware, Inc. (Bilingual) Prof run, Support groups, education and advocacy for battered women. Info on emergency shelter and other services.  Call 732-249-4504.(Voice/ TTY) 24hr.  Legal advocacy, 732-937-9525 day.  web site:  www.womenaware.net    email:   womenaware@aol.com
Morris County:
Jersey Battered Women's Service, Inc  (Bilingual) Prof run, Provides support groups and a safe home for victims or survivors of domestic violence and/or abusive relationships. Spanish-speaking groups available.  Children's program services available.  Legal advocacy.  Call 973-267-4763.  Helpline (TTY) 973-285-9095 (24 hr).  Also Jersey Center for Non-Violence offers services to assist batterers in stopping abuse and in developing alternative behaviors.  Call 973-539-7801   web site:  www.jbws.org   email   info@jbws.org
Passaic County:
Domestic Violence/Parenting Support Group: Prof run. Provides emotional support and networking for women who are or who have been, in domestic violent situations. Educational series, social group, advocacy and guest speakers.  Offers parenting classes. Meets Thurs 6-8pm.  Senior Citizen Center, 330 A Passaic St, Passaic.  Call Miriam  973-365-5740 (day)  web site:  www.passaicalliance.org  
Passaic County Women's Center:  Bilingual, Prof run,  Support for survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.  Discussion including coping skills, legal issues and parenting skills. Various groups meet weekly in Paterson.  Call Tracy Francese 973-881-0725  hot line 24 hr.  973-881-1450
Salem County:
Female Victims and Survivors of Family Violence:  Prof run. Support, education and information for women to share with other victims. Meets bi-weekly in a confidential location in Salem.  Mens' batterers program also. Call 856-935-6655 (24 hr)  TTY: 856-935-7118
Sussex County:
Domestic Abuse Services, Inc.  Mutual support for survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Meets in Newton.  Call 973-875-6369 (24hr)  web site:  www.dasi.org   email:  info@dasi.org
Union County:
Project Protect: Prof run, Provides support to victims of domestic violence. Meetings vary in Cranford. Call 908-355-4357 (24hr)
Warren County:
Women's Domestic Violence Support Group: Prof run, Supportive and confidential environment to help women victims of domestic violence work towards healing. Need prior screening to attend. Educational series.  Meets Tues 11:30 Am -1pm  Hackettstown. For info on meeting call 908-453-4181 ext 303.  TTY  908-453-2553   web site:  www.darccwc.org
Batterers Anonymous: National 
Self help program for men wish to control their anger and eliminate their abusive behavior toward women. Buddy system. Group development manual (9.95)  Write Batterers Anonymous, c/o Dr. Jerry Goffman, 1040 Mt. Vernon Ave, G 306, Colton CA 92324   email:  jerrygoffman@hotmail.com
Pathways To Peace Inc.
Self help program for anger management. In addition, offers education assistance with starting groups.  Web site:  www.pathwaystopeaceinc.com
 Abused Guys: Online, Provides support for male victims of domestic violence. Offers online chat room and message forum. Must join the group to post.   Web site:  http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/abusedguys    email   abusedguy@yahoo.com
Battered Husbands Support:  Online, founded 1998. Support for men who have been or who are currently being battered by his female or male partner.  Offers message boards, chat room and useful links.  Web site:  http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/batteredhusbandssupport
Women's Emotional Abuse Support, online, Founded 1999.  Offers mutual support and understanding for victims of verbal abuse. Provides message boards, chat room, links and email group.  Web site:  http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/womansemotionalabusesupport

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The YWCA of Eastern Union County is a non profit organization serving the women, children and families of Union County since 1920. The YWCA EUC's services include a 24 hour hotline, temporary emergency shelter, supportive housing, advocacy, counseling, children's services and legal advocacy, accompanniment and representation.
Empty Place : remembers victims of domestic violence
"An Empty Place at the Table" an event to honor the memory of victims of domestic violence. The event will take place in The Little Theater in the University Center at Kean University, 1000 Morris Ave, Union on Oct 26, 2009. The time is 3-8 pm.   Lisa Regina is an artist educator who utilizes her skills in acting, writing and directing to create projects that shed light on stories that often go unheard. Regina's non profit organization , A Write to Heal, evolved after Lisa's traumatic assualt on April 2, 2005. Her physical and emotional injuries led the actress to utilize her artistic skills in an alternate way towards healing through the medium of writing and performance. Surviving family member are invited to be involved in their family member's place setting. If you have a loved one who has lost their life to domestic violence and wish to have their lives memorialized, feel free to contact Kris at 908-518-9911. 

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