OCEAN COUNTY, NJ -  In this final installment created to direct attention to Domestic Awareness, it is critical to understand the resources available to domestic violence victims. As luck would have it, the Ocean County Prosecutor's office has a program scheduled for Monday, October 28, which focuses on what is available on a local basis.

First and foremost, victims should contact local police if they feel they are in jeopardy. For acts of domestic violence that involve matters such as cyber harassment or another type of non-violent abuse, it is still wise to make a report at the local police department.

The restraining order process starts with an application for a temporary restraining order, also known as a TRO. During business hours, it takes a trip to meet with someone at the County Courthouse in Toms River.  A Family Court judge executes both TROs and final restraining orders (FROs.)

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If the courthouse is closed and the request is an urgent one, the local police department will contact the municipal judge for issuance of a TRO. Victims will still need to go through a hearing at the county level in order to obtain an FRO.

Notably, final restraining orders require the victim to provide particular proofs. For example, this would include prior acts of domestic violence, as well as evidence supporting the new complaint. Additionally, the court will determine if an FRO is necessary to prevent further acts of domestic violence.

While it is not necessary to appear in court with an attorney, many victims and and those accused of domestic violence retain legal counsel.

New Jersey looks very carefully at domestic violence issues. The program scheduled for tomorrow offers some insight into shelters and other tools designed to help victims.