TRENTON – A measure to bolster the rights of domestic violence victims unanimously cleared the full Assembly on Monday by a vote of 75-0.
The bill (A-2258) would create a self-defense justification for domestic violence victims. Under the measure, evidence surrounding a domestic violence restraining order would be admissible and relevant to determining if the use of force to protect oneself was justifiable by an individual protected by the order toward the person who is the subject of that restraining order.
Under the bill, a host of evidence – including the existence of a temporary or permanent restraining order, the circumstances leading to the issuance of the order, any conduct constituting a violation of the order, including a prior violation, and any prior acts constituting domestic violence, involving the actor and the person against whom force was directed – would be admissible and relevant in determining whether the actor, on this occasion, reasonably believed that the force used was immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting the actor against the use of unlawful force.
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