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/

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

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

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

CONSENT

Teen Dating: Understanding Signs of a Healthy and Unhealthy Relationship

Please make time for a conversation with your teen about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships by reviewing the “Signs of Unhealthy and Healthy Relationship” below. Understanding behaviors can help your teen understand if they are in a potentially dangerous relationship.

UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Understanding these behaviors can help you figure out if you’re in an unhealthy or dangerous relationship. Many times, these behaviors are used to gain power or control and can have a negative impact on your well-being or day to day life. In some cases, these unhealthy behaviors can escalate to violence. If you feel like something might be off in your relationship, trust your gut and get help.

 

INTENSITY

Having really extreme feelings or over-the-top behavior that feels like too much. Examples are rushing the pace of a relationship, always wanting to see you and talk to you, and feeling like someone is obsessed with you.

JEALOUSY

An emotion that everyone experiences, jealousy becomes unhealthy when someone lashes out or tries to control you because of it. Examples can be getting upset when you text or hang out with people your partner feels threatened by, accusing you of flirting or cheating, being possessive over you or even going so far as to stalk you.

MANIPULATION

When a partner tries to influence your decisions, actions or emotions. Manipulation is not always easy to spot, but some examples are convincing you to do things you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable with, ignoring you until they get their way, and using gifts and apologies to influence your decisions or get back in your good graces.

ISOLATION

Keeping you away from friends, family, or other people. Examples can be when your partner makes you choose between them and your friends, insisting you spend all your time with them, making you question your own judgement of friends and family, and making you feel dependent on them for money, love or acceptance.

SABOTAGE

Purposely ruining your reputation, achievements or success. Examples can be making you miss work, school or practice, keeping you from getting school work done, talking about you behind your back or starting rumors, and threatening to share private information about you.

BELITTLING

Making you feel bad about yourself. Examples can be calling you names, making rude remarks about who you hang out with, your family or what you look like, and making fun of you – even if it’s played off as just a joke.

GUILTING

Making you feel guilty or responsible for your partner’s actions. Examples can be making you feel responsible for their happiness, making you feel like everything is your fault, threatening to hurt themselves or others if you don’t do as they say or stay with them, pressuring you to do anything sexual you’re not comfortable with.

VOLATILITY

Unpredictable overreactions that make you feel like you need to walk on eggshells around them or do things to keep them from lashing out. Examples can be mood swings, losing control of themselves by getting violent or yelling, threatening to hurt you or destroy things, and making you feel afraid of them. This can also be lots of drama or ups and downs in a relationship.

DEFLECTING RESPONSIBILITY

Making excuses for their behavior. Examples can be blaming you, other people or past experiences for their actions, using alcohol or drugs as an excuse, using mental health issues or past experiences (like a cheating ex or divorced parents) as a reason for unhealthy behavior.

BETRAYAL

When your partner acts differently with you versus how they act when you’re not around. Examples can be lying to you, purposely leaving you out or not telling you things, being two-faced, acting differently around friends, or cheating while in a relationship with you.

 

 

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Healthy relationships are ones that bring out the best in you. Even though no relationship is perfect, healthy relationships make you feel good almost all of the time and generally bring you up and not down. Here are some characteristics and behaviors of a healthy relationship. Keep in mind that with all of these behaviors, there’s a threshold for when it becomes unhealthy. For instance, loyalty is great, but at a certain point it can be unhealthy if you are being loyal to a partner who continuously disrespects you. At the end of the day, the below characteristics in a healthy relationship make you feel confident and supported.

COMFORTABLE PACE

You and your partner allow the relationship to happen at a pace that feels comfortable for both of you. Often times when you begin dating someone, you may feel that you’re spending all of your time with them because you want to – that is great! But be sure that nothing feels imbalanced or rushed in the relationship. In a healthy relationship, nobody pressures the other to have sex, make the relationship exclusive, move in together, meet their family and friends, get married, or have a baby.  When you do choose to take these steps, you both feel happy and excited about it—no mixed feelings.

HONESTY

Being truthful and open with your partner. It’s important to be able to talk together about what you both want. In a healthy relationship, you can talk to your partner without fearing how they’ll respond or if you’ll be judged. They may not like what you have to say, but a healthy partner will respond to disappointing news in a considerate way.  Some examples are having good communication about what you both want and expect and never feeling like you have to hide who you talk to or hang with from your partner.

INDEPENDENCE

Having space and freedom in your relationship to do you. Examples are when your partner supports you having friends and a life outside of your relationship and not needing to be attached at the hip or know every little detail about your life.

RESPECT

If respect is present in your relationship, your partner will value your beliefs, opinions and who you are as a person. Examples are complimenting you, supporting your hard work and dreams, not trying to push or overstep your boundaries, and sticking up for you.

EQUALITY

You and your partner have the same say and put equal effort into the relationship (instead of feeling like one person has more say than the other). Examples are feeling like you are heard in your relationship or feeling comfortable speaking up, making decisions together as opposed to one person calling all the shots, and equally compromising on decisions in your relationship that make the other person feel important or respected.

COMPASSION

Feeling a sense of care and concern from your partner and knowing that they will be there to support you, too. If you’re in a healthy relationship, your partner will be kind to you, they will understand and be supportive of you when you’re going through tough times, and they will lend a helping hand in times of need.  An important caveat is that it has to be two-sided and displayed equally.

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY

You and your partner are both responsible for your own actions and words. You both avoid putting blame on each other and own up to your actions when you do something wrong. Examples are when your partner genuinely apologizes for their mistakes, they avoid taking things out on you when they’re upset, and they try to make positive changes to better your relationship.

LOYALTY

When your partner is reliable and you feel confident that they have your back. Some examples are when your partner is respectful and faithful, sticks up for you, doesn’t take sides against you but helps you see the middle ground, and keeps your secrets safe.  In a healthy relationship, you don’t have to test the other person’s loyalty, because you just know it’s there.  Sometimes people say “we all make mistakes” and “nobody’s perfect” to make excuses for disloyalty.  If you find yourself saying that more than once, it’s a red flag that the relationship may not be healthy.

COMMUNICATION

If you can talk to your partner about anything—the good and the bad—this is a sign of a healthy relationship. Examples are when you feel like your partner will listen to you when you need to talk and that they are open to discussing further and when you don’t feel judged for your words or opinions.

180’s hotline is available for any teen who would like to speak with a counselor. The hotline is confidential and anonymous. 1-888-843-9262

 

Credit: Relationships 101: Know the Basics, One Love Foundation, Bronxville NY

joinonelove.org

A Message from 180’s Executive Director

As you know, sexual assault has been in the news over the past many weeks, this time during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  While we are not going to weigh in on the political tenor of the hearings, we do know that survivors of sexual assault in our community have been reaching out to 180 as the hearings have triggered memories of their own sexual assault.
Every time sexual assault and rape is in the headlines, it opens up a national conversation about these crimes. From kitchen tables to offices, sometimes heated discussions occur, and more and more survivors courageously come forward with their own stories of rape and assault.
At 180, we’ve been working with sexual assault survivors for over 42 years, and here are some things we know from national crime victim data:
—- One out of six women and one out of thirty-three men report being victims of attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
—- Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.
—- Law enforcement officials recognize that sexual assaults/rapes are among the most under-reported crimes, and false reports are rare.
—- Survivors often tell no one about their assault.
—- Trauma can affect survivor’s for years after the assault.
—- These crimes are often not witnessed by others.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault or know someone who is suffering with the after-effects of an assault, you should know that help is available 24/7 by calling our hotline: 1-888-264-RAPE.
Please see our website www.180nj.org for more information about our comprehensive services for sexual assault survivors, to learn about New Jersey’s Sexual Violence Protection Order, and what to do if you are assaulted, as well as how to support someone you know who shares their experience of a sexual assault with you.
We hope that shining a light on the crime of sexual assault and rape will lead to a greater understanding that we all need to do more in order to stop these crimes from occurring. 180 will continue to help survivors heal and fight for justice, and advocate for a society where these crimes no longer take place.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

180’s 2ND FLOOR YOUTH HELPLINE

Dear Friends of 180,

As a mother myself, I know that our children and young teens don’t always turn to a parent when they need advice or are having challenges as they grow up. It’s not uncommon for young people to have obstacles that leave them feeling uncertain as they transition into adulthood. However, the reality is that children and teens need many options and supportive resources including their parents. While we may not be able to change the things that make our young people stressed, 180 Turning Lives Around is making it easier for them to get help. I encourage all parents to share with their child this information regarding 180’s 2NDFLOOR Youth Text and Helpline and make sure our app is on their phones.

 2NDFLOOR’s phone number to call or text is 888.222.2228. The 2ND FLOOR app can be downloaded for free at the App Store. 2NDFLOOR is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology and is a confidential and anonymous phone and text helpline which is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to New Jersey youth and young adults. 2NDFLOOR helps youth find solutions to the problems they face ranging from family struggles and bullying, to child abuse and suicide. 2NDFLOOR ensures that there is a safe place to turn regardless of the issue. We receive calls, texts and outreach daily with concerns and questions such as the following:
“I can’t help feeling so depressed.”
“My girlfriend mentioned wanting to kill herself.”
“I’m being bullied on social media.”
“I wish that I was this happy on the inside.”
“I think my friend might be doing drugs.”

At 2NDFLOOR there is always a caring and professionally trained person ready to listen. We ensure a safe exchange in an environment where youth are comfortable communicating whether by text messaging or phone. Youth have many options to access our help including:

May 17, 2018 is International Child Helpline Day. This year the focus is on using technology to support more youth worldwide. At 2NDFLOOR, technology is something we use every day to make getting help easy and accessible.
With the support of our community we plan to continue using technology to support and help youth as they navigate their world. If you would like to learn more about 2NDFLOOR, volunteer, or make a donation to support our youth outreach in our schools and community, please contact us here.

Sincerely,

Anna Diaz-White

Executive Director

180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.

180 Turning Lives Around + New Jersey Coalition to End Sexual Assault (NJCASA) – Hereos for A Safer Garden State!

Join “Team 180” and hundreds of activists, allies, community members and heroes as we walk towards safer communities in the Garden State! The New Jersey Coalition to End Sexual Assault (NJCASA) is hosting this event as a way to support statewide social change efforts to ensure survivors are supported and affirmed. Together 180 Turning Lives Around stands with NJCASA! 180 will have a table at this event – come check-in and visit us before the event gets started! Our Team Captain is Sue Levine, Program Coordinator, Victim Support Services and can be reached at SusanL@180nj.org

Check-in begins at 8:00 AM
in Asbury Park at Convention Hall
(located at corner of 5th and Ocean Avenue)
Event begins at 9:00 AM

Please register to be part of “Team 180” here:
(click icon above to register)

Just A Few Important Reasons to Support 180 and our Sexual Violence Programs

1. On average rape survivors come forward to 180 each day seeking counseling and other services – over 70 per month.

2. In the past 3 months, over 213 sexual assaults have been disclosed to 180 counselors. Funds raised through 180’s Annual Celebration ensure there is a counselor available for each phone call 24 hours a day, seven days per week. 

3. 180’s rape hotline calls are up 15% since last year with many being triggered by the #MeToo movement. More victims need more services and 180 needs more funding to keep up with the increase.

4. 3,000 domestic and sexual violence phone calls have been received since July 2017 – 50% of which have been emergency/crisis calls.

5. Teens under the age of 18 comprise over 20% of callers – almost all female. 180’s caring response to teens involve counselors especially trained and licensed in this area.180’s 2nd Floor Youth Helpline (2NDFLOOR), and our school based educational and outreach program, ensure that young victims have a place to disclose and receive the help they need.

6. The NJ State Uniform Crime Report for 2015 (last year available currently) indicates only 15 police reported sexual assaults in Monmouth County yet 180 Turning Lives Around had 103 rapesreported to us that same year.

7. Sexual assault is the most under-reported crime, yet in women and 1 in 71 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

8. In the past 12 months, our school outreach program related to safe dates and healthy relationships conducted over 138 presentations and workshops reaching over 3,033 students throughout Monmouth County.

9. Over 12,000 hours of counseling and support were provided by trained staff last year for our statewide youth helpline,
2NDFLOOR. The most popular topics discussed were dating and relationships as well as sex and sexuality.

10. Our phones rang 16,500 times and staff texted over 3,500 times. 2NDFLOOR’s website saw over 72,000 page views.

 Please RSVP HERE.

 
 

A message from our Executive Director: Say #MeToo and RSVP Today


Dear Friends of 180,
Our largest fundraising event of the year is one week away and on behalf of the 180 Board of Trustees, I invite you to participate. Please RSVP HERE. This year’s Annual Celebration on April 20th brings even more attention to the #MeToo movement and survivor empowerment. Funds raised will support 180’s Sexual Assault programs. As you may know, 180 serves every town and every resident who may need us in Monmouth County. We are a community agency and we rely on community support to fulfill our mission.
 
Already this year, we have answered over 3,000 hotline calls, responded with care and compassion to survivors of rape, meeting them at hospital emergency rooms and 53 local police stations. We have counseled men, women and children whose past has been traumatized by sexual assault and abuse. Nearly 200 volunteers work alongside our dedicated and professional staff throughout all of our programs to assist survivors, and so we can be there in a moment’s notice.
Click the icon to make your gift via 180’s safe and secure website. All gifts are 100% tax-deductible.
Thank you for considering joining us on April 20 at The Riverhouse, Rumson Country Club. Your participation in events like this enable us to carry out our mission. If you can’t attend, please show your support by designating a special gift to support victim empowerment. Your participation will help us answer the call in a victim’s moment of crisis. Your support at any level makes a difference!
Sincerely,
Anna Diaz-White
Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around

P.S: follow the link here to learn more about our Annual Celebration and the exciting Live Auction Items up for bid! https://180nj.org/rsvp-reminder-and-live-auction-preview/

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Although April is Nationally known as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, here at 180 Turning Lives Around we are responding and caring for victims 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. 180 empowers survivors and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault to find the courage and strength to turn their lives around. We do this through 24/7 helplines and counseling, legal advocacy, emergency shelter and transitional housing, art, play and music therapy. Our staff and volunteers are found in the courts, in all five area hospital emergency rooms, and in all 53 municipal police departments.

During the month of April, we are taking part in a variety of activities in honor of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Please consider joining 180 at any one or more of the following events:
 
April 4, 9:30
Waterwitch Club, Highlands
180 to attend SOAR Women’s Symposium and host outreach and education table regarding sexual assault and domestic violence programs.
 
April 11, 10:00 AM
Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ
180 Turning Lives Around joins Monmouth University students and faculty in the program “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” – an awareness event for sexual assault and gender violence.
 
April 11, 10:30 AM
Hugh Justice Center, Trenton, NJ
180 Staff will be in attendance at the New Jersey Crime Victim’s Right’s Week Ceremony, at the Hughes Justice Center, Trenton, NJ.
 
April 11, 6:30 PM
Springwood Park, Asbury Park
180 Staff is participating at the Crime Victim’s Rights Candlelight Vigil, promoting awareness about services to crime victims, at Springwood Park in Asbury Park. The Mercy Center is recognizing 180’s Amanda’s Easel Program Coordinator Cindi Westendorf, and her team, at the event.
 
April 12, 10:00AM
Pollack Theater, Monmouth University 
180 joins the New Jersey Coalition against Human Trafficking and Monmouth University for the screening of the documentary, “I Am Jane Doe”.
 
April 13, 10:00 AM
Pollack Theater, Monmouth University
180 joins the Monmouth County Prosecutor in the presentation of “Get Real About Sex, Consent, and Violence” Jeffrey Bucholtz from We End Violence is the guest speaker. The event is sponsored by the County Prosecutor’s Association of NJ and the NJ Association of Victim Witness Coordinators. Pollack Theater.
 
April 20 7:00 PM 
Riverhouse, Rumson Country Club
180’s Annual Celebration is focused on sexual assault and the #Me Too movement with funds raised supporting 180’s sexual violence programs. Guests to join 180 in solidarity by wearing denim, the awareness color for sexual assault awareness.
 
April, Date TBD
US Naval Weapon Station Earle, Colts Neck
180 joins US Naval Weapon Station Earle in “The Clothes Line Project” – an awareness and outreach event for Earle community.
 
May 5, 8:00AM
Asbury Park Boardwalk
New Jersey Coalition to End Sexual Assault will host their annual 5K Run in Asbury Park. 180 Sexual Violence Program staff has a table set up for outreach and a team of 180 staff/volunteers will be participating in the race.

As always, if you or someone you know is in need of 180’s Sexual Violence Services, including supportive counseling for survivors – both adult and teen, and regardless of when the assault occurred, we are here for you. 180 can assist with advocacy and accompaniment through medical, police and legal proceedings and our caring and professional staff will guide survivors in trauma recovery in a safe, supportive and confidential environment. Our 24-hour Sexual Violence Hotline is confidential and anonymous: 1.888.264.RAPE.

Please visit us at www.180nj.org and follow us on and FacebookInstagram and Twitter for updates on 180’s various initiatives and work throughout the Monmouth County community.