SENATE, No. 1388

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 11, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Clarifies goal of domestic violence public awareness campaign pertaining to risk factors; requires public awareness notices include language used by substantial segments of local populations.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act clarifying the mission of the domestic violence public awareness campaign and amending P.L.2005, c.204.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 2 of P.L.2005, c.204 (C.52:27D-43.36) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    a.  The Director of the Division on Women in the Department of Community Affairs, in consultation with the Advisory Council on Domestic Violence and the Commissioners of Human Services and Health and Senior Services, shall establish a domestic violence public awareness campaign in order to promote public awareness of domestic violence among the general public and health care and social services professionals and provide information to assist victims of domestic violence and their children.

     b.    The public awareness campaign shall include the development and implementation of public awareness and outreach efforts to promote domestic violence prevention and education, including, but not limited to, the following subjects:

     (1)   the causes and nature of domestic violence;

     (2)   risk factors;

     (3)   preventive measures; and

     (4)   the availability of, and how to access, services in the community for victims of domestic violence, including, but not limited to, shelter services, legal advocacy services and legal assistance services.  In addition, the Division shall coordinate with each municipality to ensure that where at least one-fifth of the total population are of a common ethnic or cultural background according to the last decennial census, and are likely to speak a common non-English native language with higher proficiency than English, the outreach effort shall include information prepared in a bilingual manner so that the full contents of each notice shall be printed in both English and in the native language typical of each ethnic group comprising at least one-fifth of the population of the municipality.

     c.     The director shall coordinate the efforts of the division with any activities being undertaken by other State agencies to promote public awareness of, and provide information to the public about, domestic violence.

     d.    The director, within the limits of funds available for this purpose, shall seek to utilize electronic and print media, and may prepare and disseminate such written information as the director deems necessary, to accomplish the purposes of this act.

     e.     The division shall make available electronically on its Internet website in English and Spanish information about domestic violence as described in subsection b. of this section.

     f.     The director may accept, for the purposes of the public awareness campaign, any special grant of funds, services, or property from the federal government or any of its agencies, or from any foundation, organization or other entity.

     g.     The director shall report to the Governor and the Legislature, no later than 18 months after the effective date of this act, on the activities and accomplishments of the public awareness campaign.

     h.     The public awareness and outreach efforts to promote domestic violence prevention and education pertaining to risk factors shall be developed in conjunction with the New Jersey Coalition on Battered Women and shall include, at a minimum, strategies to address the following areas:

     (1)   How to help victims of domestic violence and those close to them identify local resources;

     (2) Develop outreach strategies specific to different cultures, ethnicities and socio-economic groups;

     (3)   Provide education about the increase in danger and lethality for a victim during separation and the importance of safety planning;

     (4)   Suicide prevention and risk factor awareness within a domestic violence relationship;

     (5)   How to recognize the warning signs which have been shown to signal an increase in danger and lethality;  and

     (6)   Promotion of domestic violence hotlines, in various languages, as a place to call in addition to the police with information for victims, individuals concerned about threats or harm to another, and information for families of law enforcement personnel and other populations facing barriers regarding obtaining safety and support.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.204, s.2)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     P.L.2005, c.204 established the domestic violence awareness campaign, directing the Division on Women to develop and implement public awareness and outreach efforts to promote domestic violence prevention and education.  One area of focus for the campaign is the risk factors associated with domestic violence.

     This bill clarifies this outreach function by enumerating specific areas of focus to include the following:

     (1)   How to help victims of domestic violence and those close to them identify local resources;

     (2) Develop outreach strategies specific to different cultures, ethnicities and socio-economic groups;

     (3)   Provide education about the increase in danger and lethality for a victim during separation and the importance of safety planning;

     (4)   Suicide prevention and risk factor awareness within a domestic violence relationship;

     (5)   How to recognize the warning signs which have been shown to signal an increase in danger and lethality;

     (6)   Promotion of domestic violence hotlines, in various languages, as a place to call in addition to the police with information for victims, individuals concerned about threats or harm to another, and information for families of law enforcement personnel and other populations facing barriers regarding obtaining safety and support.

     In addition, the bill provides that the Division shall coordinate with each municipality to ensure that where at least one-fifth of the total population are of a common ethnic or cultural background according to the last decennial census, and are likely to speak a common non-English native language with higher proficiency than English, the outreach effort shall include information prepared in a bilingual manner so that the full contents of each notice shall be printed in both English and in the native language typical of each ethnic group comprising at least one-fifth of the population of the municipality.

     The New Jersey Domestic Violence Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board,  NJ DVFNFRB, was created by Executive Order 110, and permanently established by P.L.2003, c.225.  In June, 2006 the NJ DVFNFRB released a recommendation report.  This bill consists of recommendation 1a and 1b of the report.