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Hanover police seek Domestic Violence Response Team volunteers

Domestic violence is a problem in every community throughout the country, and townships in New Jersey are no exception. To help victims of domestic abuse, the Hanover Township Police Department and the Jersey Battered Women's Service recently sent out a call for volunteer advocates.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the Hanover police department keeps a diversified group of civilian volunteers on call to support domestic violence victims. The group is called the Domestic Violence Response Team, and the anonymous advocates are always available to meet with victims and encourage them to assert their legal rights.

Since the volunteers go through a 40-hour intensive training course, prior experience with domestic abuse is not required. The police department indicated that training sessions will be offered in the Morristown area from mid-September through early November. Applicants must submit to a background check and have access to transportation.

Following their training, the advocates will provide emotional support to victims and help them determine the course of their own lives and avoid future abuse. That means victims will receive information about obtaining a temporary restraining order -- an important legal tool that has saved countless lives.

Often, victims of domestic abuse don't know where to turn. But there are legal remedies available to stop violence in the home. Newton-area residents should take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their loved ones. Domestic violence can take many forms -- physical abuse, verbal abuse, harassing phone calls, threatening text messages or emails -- and anyone experiencing this kind of abuse deserves an order for protection.

Source: nj.com, "Domestic Violence Response Team volunteers sought," Louis C. Hochman, Aug. 7, 2012

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