Domestic violence – one partner’s abuse of another – continues to be a problem in New Jersey with a 3 percent increase in reported offenses over the prior year.

Domestic violence is identified as a threat of physical, sexual, emotional or economic abuse on one person by another with whom they have had an intimate relationship.

A police officer must make an arrest if there is a person who claims to be a victim of domestic violence, the officer sees evidence of such violence, and:

  • The victim shows signs of injury
  • There is an arrest warrant
  • A domestic violence restraining order has been violated
  • The officer believes a weapon was used

New Jersey domestic violence statistics

Each year, the state Attorney General’s office compiles a report on domestic violence. That report, required by 1982’s Domestic Violence Act, uses statistics gathered via the state Uniform Crime Reporting System.

The report paints a picture of domestic violence in New Jersey:

  • There were 63,420 domestic violence offenses in 2016, a 3 percent increase over 2015
  • Murders increased 6 percent in 2016 (52) over 2015 (49)
  • Assaults accounted for 43 percent and harassment accounted for 43 percent of the reported offenses
  • Arrests were made in 31 percent of the offenses, an increase of 1 percent over 2015
  • Females were victims in 74 percent of the cases, or 46,949
  • Children were actively involved or present during 28 percent
  • Domestic violence offenses arising from a dating relationship accounted for 15 percent
  • Persons age 60 or over were victims in 6 percent and were the victims in 22 percent of the domestic violence murders
  • Alcohol and/or drugs were involved in 25 percent
  • When viewed as a ratio of its occurrence to a fixed time interval, one act of domestic violence would occur every 8 minutes and 29 seconds in the state

What’s clear is that domestic violence is all too common in the state. If you are a victim of domestic violence, call 911 immediately. If you are a victim and need legal help, or if you have been accused of domestic violence, contact a qualified, experienced attorney immediately.