Services for Domestic Violence Victims
- Domestic Violence Hotlines provide emergency information and support for victims 24/7.
- Domestic Violence Shelters offer emergency housing and support for victims 24/7.
- For Victims: There are specialized domestic violence counseling programs throughout New Jersey. Should you seek counseling at a mental health center, ask if the counselor has special training or experience in working with those affected by domestic violence since not all therapists are familiar with the dynamics of relationship abuse.
- For Children: Children may suffer from feelings of anger, fear, shame, and conflicted loyalties. The resources available to you may also have services for children or if not, may refer you to programs that provide counseling for your children.
- For Abusers: The most appropriate type of counseling for those who are abusive is a special group program known as Batterers Intervention Program. “Couples counseling” is not a recommended form of treatment. It is essential that that abuser first takes responsibility for the abuse and has learned that controlling behavior is a form of abuse before engaging in couples counseling.
Emergency Assistance is a “fast track” for getting quick approval of the application for public assistance and receiving cash benefits. Approval should occur within 10 days of the application. You may qualify for assistance with housing, including temporary rental assistance, back rent, mortgage payments, hotel vouchers, or housing in a shelter. You may also qualify for essential food, clothing, household furnishings, utility payments, transportation to search for housing, and moving expenses. This Emergency Assistance will only last for one year, but you can sometimes apply for an extension.
To apply, contact the Board of Social Services through your County Welfare Agency. You can find the contact information for your County Welfare Agency on our Helpful Resources page.
- Moving expenses
- Medical expenses
- Counseling expenses
- Lost wages of a certain amount per week for a period of time
- Loss of financial support for up to a certain period of time
- Attorney fees
- Child care/day care
To qualify for this assistance, you will need to show that you have filed a criminal report on the abuse incident and you will be asked to fill out an application for VCCB’s review. Visit www.njvictims.org to apply online or call toll free 877-658-2221.
There are many legal needs that a victim of domestic violence may have. When seeking legal assistance, it is important to ask if the lawyer has had experience and/or training regarding domestic abuse issues. There are a few legal services and nonprofit organizations that provide free representation and/or legal advice for individuals who are low income and qualify for these services. A victim may wish to seek help from a lawyer for the following:
- Final Restraining Order Hearing
- Custody and Child Support
- Divorce and Spousal Support
- Immigration: Victims of domestic violence who are undocumented are provided the same legal protections against abuse as those who are documented. However, it is crucial to consult with an immigration attorney if you have any immigration issues. You can find contact information for organizations that specialize in immigration law on our Helpful Resources page.
You can find contact information for organizations that offer free legal assistance to domestic violence victims/survivors on our Helpful Resources page.
ADDRESS CONFIDENTIALITY PROGRAM (ACP):
How can I keep my address confidential?
As part of the State of New Jersey Address Confidentiality Program, victims of domestic violence can apply to keep their addresses confidential from abusers.