The Domestic Violence Unit within the Oakland Police Department maintains and files all reported domestic violence incidents within the Borough of Oakland. The unit also provides updates and in-service training to all officers on any changes to laws and regulations for acts of domestic violence.
New Jersey domestic violence laws are very strict. If there are any signs of physical injuries the police must arrest the abuser. Even without independent witnesses and no physical injuries, police may arrest the abuser.
All officers within the Oakland Police Department, when called to the scene of a domestic violence incident, will assist the victim with medical assistance, arresting the abuser, obtaining a restraining order, seeking counseling or securing shelter. A detailed report on the incident will also be done and maintained at police headquarters.
Types of abuse:
Emotional Abuse / Psychological Abuse – Name calling, put downs, threats, stalking, intimidation, degradation, tracking time, isolating victim from family or friends, forbidding victim to work or participate in outside activities, sleep deprivation, interrogation, accusing, using money to control, harming pets, destroying property, throwing objects near victim.
Physical Abuse – Pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, punching, biting, restraint, hair pulling, strangulation, pinching, burning, grabbing, shaking, scratching, spitting, using weapons, throwing objects at victim.
Sexual Abuse – Any non consensual sexual act or behavior, including forced sex, unwanted touching, sexual degradation, and violence targeted at the genital area.
How to Identify if you are in an abusive relationship:
Does your partner.....
- Put you down, constantly criticize you or say blatantly cruel, hurtful things?
- Act in a controlling, jealous manner?
- Criticize the way you parent your children?
- Say things to spite you?
- Bring up the past to hurt you?
- Swear at You?
- Yell and scream at you?
- Give you the Silent Treatment?
- Insist you cater to his/her whims?
- Treat you like a servant?
- Monitor your Time?
- Discourage or prevent you from getting medical care?
- Discourage or prevent you from attending school?
- Discourage or prevent you from socializing with friends?
- Discourage or prevent you from working?
- Accuse you of having affairs?
- Accuse you of constantly flirting with other men / women?
- Demand you stay home with the children?
- Discourage or prevent you from seeing your family?
- Restrict or monitor your use of the car or telephone?
- Prevent you from leaving the house?
- Blame you for his/her temper mood?
- Blame you for his/her use of violence?
- Change moods radically?
- Try to convince you that you are crazy?
- Threaten to hurt him/her self if you left?
- Threaten to hurt him/her self if you don’t do what he/she wants?
- Threaten to have an affair?
- Threaten to leave the relationship?
- Threaten to take your children away?
- Threaten to hurt your children?
- Threaten to commit you to an institution?
How do I report a Domestic Violence Incident?
All police officers in New Jersey are trained in the handling of Domestic Violence incidents. When possible go to your local police headquarters to report any Domestic Violence incident. If you cannot get to police headquarters call and an officer will come to you. New Jersey Police officers will assist you at any time of the day or night and explain to you your Domestic Violence rights and what help they can offer.
What is and how do I get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)?
When reporting a Domestic Violence incident a victim can request a TRO. All New Jersey police departments are prepared to assist with obtaining a TRO. During regular business hours Monday through Friday anyone can go to the Domestic Violence offices located at the County Court House in Hackensack, New Jersey and request a TRO. At night, weekends or Holiday’s your local Police department can assist with obtaining a TRO. An on call judge is called and the facts are explained to the judge by you and the judge makes a decision on granting a TRO. The TRO will name persons and places that the alleged abuser is not allowed to contact or go near. The TRO will state that the abuser is not allowed to contact the victim or have anyone else contact the victim on his/her behalf. The judge may also offer monetary spousal and child care support. Weapons that the abuser might own can also be seized by police. A violation of a restraining order will result in the arrest of the offender. It is a law enforcement tool meant to help you carry out your decision to end your relationship and keep you safe from your abuser.
What if he/she makes unwanted or harassing calls?
After a restraining order is issued and both the victim and abuser have been served with the order, no contact by either party should be made to the other. If calls are made the following should be done. Do not delete any caller ID information or answering machine messages and contact police right away. Prior to making any other phone calls (before even calling police), immediately dial *57 to activate call trace which records the phone number of the last incoming call, let the police know that you have activated call trace so that they can follow up with the phone company about the origin of the call. Changing your current number to an unpublished number is also an option that can be used.
What do I do if I have to contact the abuser for visitation, monetary support, etc.?
If there is any contact by you with the abuser you will be giving him/her a sign that it is OK to violate the restraining order. If there is something that needs to be changed or corrected you must go through the courts to change it. If you are represented by an attorney contact your attorney and he will make the necessary calls to have the order changed or updated.
Teen dating abuse
A report by the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that 1 in 5 female public high school students experienced physical and/or sexual abuse from their dating partner. Adolescent girls who reported abuse from their dating partners were found to be at higher risk for substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine), unhealthy weight maintenance, unhealthy sexual behavior, pregnancy and suicide. Alcohol is present in 40 to 50% of incidents of dating violence.
Some characteristics to be aware of at the beginning of a relationship with a potentially abusive partner are:
Possessiveness which surfaces and gets out of control, possessiveness may be expressed by showering the other with gifts, surprise visits, many phone calls, the abuser may be over attentive.
After a while, the abuser may demand to know the exact details of the other’s whereabouts. Possessiveness and jealousy begin to dominate the relationship.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Oakland Police if you have questions about Domestic Violence 201-337-6171. We will answer your questions and get you help and/or the resources you need.
Domestic Violence Resources
Shelter Our Sisters
Phone: (201) 944-9600
NJ Coalition for Battered Women
Phone: (609) 584-8107
Dating Violence Resource Center
Phone: (202) 467-8700
NJ Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline
YWCA of Bergen County
Phone: (201) 487-2227
There is also a NJ nonprofit group called Shelter Our Pets. They provide temporary foster care to the pets of domestic violence victims. Their hotline number is 973-506-9696.