In C.R. v. M.T., the New Jersey Supreme Court has made it easier for a victim of sexual assault to obtain a final protective order under the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015 (SASPA), N.J.S.A. 2C:14-13 to – 21. This law was amended in 2023 and renamed the Victim’s Assistance and Survivor Protection Act, but the changes are not relevant to the opinion. The court held that the language of the statute is permissive and easily satisfied. The test for securing the final SASPA order is that the petitioner was the victim of nonconsensual sexual contact and there exists a possibility of future risk to the safety or well-being of the victim.

SASPA was created to protect victims of domestic violence who are not spouses, former spouses, household members, someone with whom the victim has a child or will have a child, or a person with whom the victim had a dating relationship, as outlined in the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991 (PDVA), N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 et seq. SASPA “was intended to fill [the] void” where the victim was “subjected to sexual violence in a random encounter” or by someone with whom he or she has “less than a dating relationship.””