The New Jersey Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act

Legal Options for Teen Victims of Sexual Violence:

The New Jersey Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act

 

What is the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act?

The Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA) was enacted into law in May 2016 within the state of New Jersey. The Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act (SASPA) provides victims of sexual violence with the ability to apply for a protective order against their perpetrator within Family Court. Victims of sexual violence are not required to move forward in pressing criminal charges against their perpetrator in order to receive a protective order under SASPA.

What can a protective order do for my teen? A protective order is a legal document issued by the court that legally forbids the following behavior by a perpetrator to the victim:

  • acts of contact (in-person, telephonic, or through a third party)
  • acts of seeing the perpetrator (ex: preventing perpetrator from entering home, place of employment, or school)
  • acts of sexual violence
  • additional relief assigned by the court

Is my teen eligible for a protective order?

Eligibility requirements for those who can file a protective order under SASPA include:

  • anyone who is a victim of nonconsensual sexual contact, sexual penetration, or lewdness or any attempt at such conduct
  • anyone who is a victim of the above victimizations and is not eligible for a restraining order as a victim of domestic violence (ex: your teen does not have a domestic or dating relationship to the perpetrator)
  • anyone who is a victim of the above victimizations and the perpetrator is at least 18 years old

How does my teen file for a protective order?

A temporary protective order application under SASPA can be filed by the victim’s parent or legal guardian on behalf of the victim in any case where the victim is under the age of 18 years old. Temporary protective orders can only be filed in the Family Division of the Superior Court during court hours.

How can 180 help my teen who has experienced sexual violence?

  • Sexual Violence Court Advocate for assistance in filing a SASPA protective order within and accompaniment to all court proceedings within the Superior Court
  • Sexual Violence Counseling for survivors ages 12 & older
  • Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for direct supportive services and accompaniment to survivors at hospitals and police stations for survivors ages 13 & older
  • 24 Hour Confidential Sexual Violence Hotline: (888) 264-7273
  • 2ND FLOOR Youth Call and Text Helpline: (888) 222-2288

Note: Information was adapted from New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (2017). For more information, visit: https://njcasa.org/saspa/

Volunteer Victim Advocates Needed

Become A Volunteer Advocate for Victims of Domestic Violence:

Applications Available for Next Training Course

 

You can be the change you want to see in the world by joining 180’s life-changing mission today. 180 Turning Lives Around (180), a private non-profit organization in Monmouth County, continues to provide confidential support and advocacy to victims of domestic violence in the aftermath of a highly emotional and traumatic experience with the assistance of its dedicated response team volunteers at police headquarters throughout Monmouth County.

 

180’s volunteer Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) Victim Advocates are civilian members of the community who work collaboratively with law enforcement to provide support, information, and resources to victims of domestic violence. Advocates also discuss with victims safety planning and their legal rights in regard to obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order. By providing empathy and a crucial perspective of the situation, these specially-trained advocates help to empower victims to make informed decisions for themselves and their families.

 

The mandatory 40-hour training course for new volunteer advocates is being conducted by 180 staff April 21st – May 14th, Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays, 6:00pm-9:30pm. The Tuesday sessions are being held at the Holmdel Community Center, 6 Crawfords Corner Road. The location for the Wednesday and Thursday sessions is the courtroom at Hazlet Police Headquarters, 255 Middle Road. Training will be provided for free to successful applicants.

 

Basic requirements for volunteers to apply include that they must be eighteen years of age or older, have access to reliable transportation, possess a valid driver’s license, be willing to serve on an on-call shift basis, participate in an interview process, submit to background investigations and fingerprinting, and successfully complete the mandatory training. The police departments and 180 are committed to culturally and socially diverse teams to better serve the community. Bi-lingual capability is helpful. Prior knowledge of domestic violence is not required. The identities of the DVRT volunteers are kept anonymous. For an application or additional information, please contact Tina Morgan, Assistant Victim Support Program Coordinator, at tinam@180nj.org or 732 264-4360, Ext. 4272. Please mention the town where you reside. Deadline to apply is April 10th.  Applications are also available for download at https://180nj.org/give-help/volunteering/domestic-violence-response-team-advocate/

 

The free, confidential service of the DVRT program is available for victims of domestic violence, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, at the police departments in Monmouth County.

 

For forty-four years, 180 Turning Lives Around has been dedicated to providing emergency safe housing, counseling, support, prevention, education, and advocacy in Monmouth County for individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. If you, or someone you know, is in need of assistance, please call the 180 Turning Lives Around 24/7 Confidential Hotline at 732-264-4111 or 888-843-9262. Visit www.180nj.org for more information. In an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

180 Partners with Hackensack Meridian Health on New Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program

Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director, 180 Turning Lives Around and Aakash Shah, MD of Hackensack Meridian Health meet with 180’s Susan Levine and Darren Averett to discuss  a new hospital-based violence intervention program that will combine the expertise of 180 staff and specially-trained volunteers alongside emergency room and other hospital department personnel in order to improve outcomes for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The program will take place at Jersey Shore Medical Center.
Dr. Shah is an expert in emergency care and behavioral health care, while 180 is Monmouth County’s only State designated lead domestic violence service agency. 180 specializes in trauma-informed counseling and domestic and sexual violence programs which empower survivors to have the strength and courage to turn their life around. 180 is honored to be a partner in this new program which will connect 180 counselors directly to crime victims before they leave the hospital.
To learn more about supporting 180 Turning Lives Around or volunteer opportunities, contact Lynn Lucarelli, Director of Development, lynnl@180nj.org.

Helping Your Teen Identify Signs of an Unhealthy and Healthy Relationship

Help your teen identify the signs of an unhealthy and a healthy relationship. Try this interactive quiz with your teen after school today:

www.coolnotcoolquiz.org

Conversation Starters: Digital Dating Abuse

Use these conversation starters to talk to your teen about digital dating abuse.

 

https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/wp-content/uploads/Conversation-Starters-Digital-Dating-Abuse.pdf

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Download the “Consent” informational sheet and have the conversation with your teen today.

CONSENT