TRENTON – A three-bill package intended to bolster the protections and rights of domestic violence victims cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
The first measure (A-1491) is aimed at deterring future acts of domestic violence by imposing certain bail restrictions for anyone charged with contempt of a domestic violence restraining order. The bill would bar anyone charged with violating a domestic violence-related restraining order from posting the customary 10 percent bail option. The committee approved the bill by a vote of 4-1-1.
The second measure (A-2258) would create a self-defense justification for domestic violence victims. Spencer’s legislation would make evidence surrounding a domestic violence restraining order admissible and relevant to determining if use of force to protect oneself was justifiable by an individual protected by the order. The bill was approved by a vote of 6-0.
The third bill (A-2891) would extend protections for domestic abuse victims who have had to break a lease. It would also prevent a landlord from refusing to lease to or breaking a lease of a tenant who has had to terminate a previous rental agreement based on their or a household member’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. The committee approved the bill by a vote of 5-1.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. With 85 percent of domestic violence victims being women, it’s estimated that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
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