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Ruiz Introduces Legislation to Protect Survivors of Domestic Violence

Trenton – Senate President Pro Tempore M. Teresa Ruiz introduced legislation, which would require that a person charged with domestic violence by strangling the victim be detained prior to trial.

“We worked closely with the Essex County Family Justice Center to craft this legislation and its introduction is especially meaningful as Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close. Almost half of all domestic violence homicide victims had previously been strangled by their partner. The action is a signal of escalating violence which often times the victim does not survive, yet as it stands many individuals charged with aggravated assault by strangulation are released back into the public,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “These people come forward and report the most traumatic moment of their lives and we let their abusers back on the streets to await trial. That is unacceptable. We have a responsibility to survivors to take these statistics seriously, to read these warning signs and to implement measures to protect them.”

Under the bill, S-4186, if a court finds probable cause that a defendant commit aggravated assault by strangling a domestic violence victim there would be a rebuttable presumption that the person is to be detained pending trial.