TRENTON, NJ –   The number of domestic violence complaints in New Jersey has been growing.  A 2015 report from the state courts puts the number that year at 32,691, a 950-case increase from the previous year.  In 2016, there were 52 domestic violence-related deaths statewide.  East Brunswick's Assemblywoman is trying to do something to address this rise by expanding the training judges and their staffs receive regarding this growing problem.

An Assembly panel on Monday approved a measure sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin to better protect victims of domestic violence.

“One in three women and one in four men have experienced physical violence by a domestic partner,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “These numbers are staggering and demonstrate how pervasive this is, and how important it is that the professionals tasked with responding and handling these cases are adequately trained so victims are protected and perpetrators are punished.”

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Assembly bill 317 would direct the Administrative Director of the Courts to develop and approve a training course and a curriculum for all municipal court judges, Superior Court judges responsible for the adjudication of domestic violence matters, and judicial personnel involved with the intake and processing of domestic violence complaints.

Current law requires all judges and judicial personnel attend initial domestic violence training within 90 days of appointment or transfer and to attend annual in-service training. This bill would expand on this training.

Under the bill, all such judges and judicial personnel would participate in core training regarding issues such as the dynamics of domestic violence, the impact of domestic violence on children, trauma-informed danger assessments, batterer intervention and anger management programs, and domestic violence risk factors and lethality.

The bill will now be considered by the full Assembly at a future time.