Nearly half of the 65,000 domestic violence complaints reported in New Jersey each year are based on claims of “harassment.” Our judicial system expends extensive time and effort, case by case, to determine which of those claims qualify as true domestic violence under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (PDVA). Given the volume of allegations made in the name of harassment, the courts have cautioned litigants against wasting resources and trivializing the plight of genuine victims by asserting frivolous harassment claims.

Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.

The legislature first passed the PDVA in 1981 to clearly define this state’s public policy against domestic violence and to provide a system for protecting the victims on an emergent and long-term basis. The act did not create a new class of offenses, but instead ensured that individuals who were subject to criminal conduct by significant others would have emergent access to the court system and a means of physical, psychological and financial protection when necessary.

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