Advancing Policy on Behalf of Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence
Partners’ advocacy strives to advance legal protections and justice for survivors throughout the Garden State. We focus on the issues affecting marginalized survivors. In New Jersey, people of color have far less access to wealth and income than whites, leaving low income victims of color most at risk for severe and prolonged abuse. The gender wage gap is amplified for women of color as compared to men. Compounding this financial vulnerability, intimate partner violence itself causes a cataclysm of financial blows that can lead to homelessness or limit survivors’ ability to leave a dangerous relationship. To reduce intimate partner violence, New Jersey needs bold remedies to address structural racism and inequality. For more information about the connections between severe poverty and intimate partner violence and the impact of COVID-19, read Partners and the Center for Social Justice’s report The Impact of COVID 19 Intensifies the Shadow Pandemic of Domestic Violence in New Jersey here.
Partners participates in State and County committees, including the Supreme Court Statewide Domestic Violence Working Group, the New Jersey Domestic Violence Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board, the Supreme Court Family Practice Committee, the Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts, and the Supreme Court Domestic Violence Risk Assessment Working Group.
To advance this work Partners:
- Conducts in depth research and analysis to support policy recommendations;
- Advances legislative ideas and provides information to legislators about the likely impact of proposed bills;
- Litigates appeals and advocates for survivors in friend of the court briefs that implicate legislative and or constitutional rights; and
- Works In coalition with allied groups to expand economic and racial justice.
Partners’ priorities are:
- Enhancing Victim Safety
- Expanding Access to Justice
- Protecting Children of Domestic Violence
Enhance Victim Safety
New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act and Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act provide survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault with robust legal protections. Nevertheless, systemic and implicit bias in the courts and law enforcement results in less protection for marginalized survivors
Expand Access to Justice
In courtrooms every day, Partners has first-hand knowledge of the challenges survivors encounter in navigating the courts without legal representation, financial resources, or English proficiency. Partners is dedicated to expanding access to justice so that victims are heard in court, understand court processes, and are able to obtain meaningful protection from further abuse and can safely leave their abusers.
PROTECT CHILDREN OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Children often witness acts of domestic violence and experience trauma, as a result of exposure to violence in the home. In addition, they suffer direct economic impacts. Partners seeks to secure custody and safe visitation arrangements and to address systemic barriers to securing and collecting child support.