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Senator Nellie Pou, D-Passaic and Bergen, listens to testimony during a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the FY 2012 State Budget.

TRENTON – Senator Nellie Pou today issued the following statement, highlighting the importance of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

“Domestic violence can happen to anyone and many of us know a friend, family member or loved one who has been victimized. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we must commit to raising awareness and encouraging those we know who may be suffering violence in the home to speak up. We must also recommit to ending domestic violence. The statistics in New Jersey and across the country demonstrate the very real problem that too many families in our communities face.”

According to the National Network To End Domestic Violence and the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit:

  • More than 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Nationwide, an average of 3 women are killed by a current or former intimate partner every day.
  • Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year nationally.
  • Over 64,000 domestic violence offenses were reported in New Jersey by the police in 2013.
  • Domestic violence arising from a dating relationship accounted for 15 percent of cases in the state.

“In New Jersey, we have made great strides to help protect domestic violence victims. We recently passed legislation that I sponsored to protect sexual assault survivors from their perpetrators. The Sexual Assault Protection Act of 2015 would allow victims to file for a restraining order with the Superior Court regardless of the presence or absence of a preexisting relationship with their offender or whether or not they filed for a criminal complaint.

“We also passed legislation requiring attackers to surrender their firearms while a final restraining order is in effect. These are important bills that will strengthen our laws to better protect our residents at home and in our communities.

“In New Jersey, we have many great organizations providing services to survivors and their families, and working to advocate for new protective measures, and we thank them for the important work they are doing. I also want to recognize the newly-named New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, which works statewide to provide invaluable support and resources to New Jersey residents. These kinds of organizations are critical to the wellbeing of domestic violence survivors, providing the tools necessary to help men, women and children overcome their experiences and protect them from future incidents of violence.

“Even with our collective efforts and successes to support and protect survivors of domestic violence in New Jersey, there is still much more work to be done. This issue is one that must be taken seriously, and we are committed to doing everything we can to take action and help end domestic violence.”

To learn more about resources and confidential information regarding domestic abuse call the New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-572-7233.

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