What Happens When I Need Legal Help for Domestic or Sexual Violence?

Your first step in getting connected to Legal Advocacy is to reach out to us through Safe+Sound Somerset’s 24/7 Call and Text Helpline at 866.685.1122. Access to all of our services happen by taking this first step.

  • The helpline advocate who answers your call or text will collect your information and submit a referral for Legal Advocacy, and any other services you wish to learn more about or access.
  • Next, a staff member from the Legal Advocacy program will call you to discuss your situation.

What to Expect When a Legal Advocate Contacts You

  1. Legal Advocates listen, offer support, and provide information and guidance with respect and compassion.
  2. All services are confidential and designed to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and court process to achieve the best outcomes possible.
  3. When a Legal Advocate calls you, they will first make sure you are in a safe and private place, and that the timing is good for you to discuss your circumstances.
  4. If you are not in safe place or it’s a bad time to speak, we will make an appointment to call you back.
  5. On the first call, we will work with you to create an individualized safety plan that considers your specific needs. Advocates will go over different aspects of domestic and sexual violence, using educational tools such as the “Power and Control” wheel.

  • If you have an upcoming court hearing related to a restraining order, we will provide you information about your options and choices. It is important that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision on how you would like to proceed. Going through the court process can be stressful and intimidating. Our advocates are available to support you during the entire court process.
  • Safe+Sound Somerset’s Legal Advocates are not attorneys and do not offer legal advice. We help you prepare for court proceedings and can support you during the court process.
  • If you decide to have an attorney represent you in court proceedings, several options may be available to you. If you meet the financial criteria, you may be eligible for legal assistance through Legal Services of Northwest Jersey or a Pro Bono attorney.
  • During your meetings with the Legal Advocate, you will also receive information about additional resources and services offered by Safe+Sound Somerset, such as individual and group Counseling, Financial Empowerment and Housing First. If you have immediate safety concerns or needs, the Legal Advocate can assist you with exploring and accessing safe housing.

We will connect you to resources in the community to help you build a life free from violence.

Additional Information

  • If you are seeking a Final Restraining Order (FRO), all court hearing are in person at the Somerset County Court House, located 20 North Bridge St (2nd Floor Family Division), Somerville, NJ. If you have any questions or concerns about FRO trials or court proceedings, call the Domestic Violence court staff at the Somerset County Court House at 908.322.7700, ext. 13007.
  • If you are seeking Amendments to a Restraining Order, information can be added to an existing restraining order online at NJCourts.gov. Follow the prompts for the JEDS electronic filing tool.
  • If you are seeking a Dismissal of a Temporary Restraining Order related to domestic violence, contact the court staff to inform them. You will then be instructed to call Safe+Sound Somerset’s 24/7 helpline at 866-685-1122 prior to the court date. An advocate will provide dismissal counseling that includes a review of the dynamics of domestic violence, the Power & Control Wheel, safety planning, and information about available supports and services.
  • If you are filing a Sexual Assault Restraining Order, it must be filed at the Somerset County Court House, located at 20 North Bridge St. (2nd Floor Family Division), Somerville, NJ. If you have any questions or concerns about SASPA trials or court proceedings, call the court staff at the Somerset County Court House at 908.322.7700, ext. 13007.


Additional Resources:

Somerset County Prosecutors Office, 40 North Bridge St., Somerville, NJ 08876, 908-575-3300