On May 1, 2019 when Partners for Women and Justice honor Sally Glick, Principal and Chief Growth Strategist at SobelCo, with their Partner in Hope Award at their annual Spring Benefit, the firm will be supporting this amazing organization.

Here are some of the most essential things you need to know about this nonprofit!

Partners for Women and Justice is just completing its 15th year of helping victims and survivors of domestic violence escape abuse. As they do so they can proudly point to the successes they have had and the hope they have brought to so many of the state’s most vulnerable populations.

Since 2004, this dedicated group of volunteers has adhered to their mission, fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves: “Partners for Women and Justice empowers low-income victims and survivors of domestic violence to build safe and secure futures for themselves and their children by providing equal access to justice.  We offer quality legal assistance in domestic violence and family law matters.”

The definition is clear. Domestic violence is the physical, emotional, psychological and/or sexual abuse of one person by another with whom there is a relationship. Abusers use many forms of violence, or threats of violence, ranging from verbal harassment to homicide to gain power and control over their partners.

At Partners for Women and Justice they have studied the data and the research, understanding and tracking the common behavior patterns that abusers rely on. What typically occurs is that batterers attempt to gain power and control over their victims using a number of different strategies, including physical and sexual violence as the most extreme and frightening of the tactics, to enable them to dominate their victims.

But what many people do not realize is that domestic violence is not limited to physical assault. Someone may be a victim of domestic violence when the abusive partner is using tactics such as psychological abuse to gain power and control in the relationship, even when there has not been physical violence.

What is so extraordinary is the way that this organization has systematically turned words into action. From their new location in Montclair, they begin the process by offering their clients support and legal counsel – and practical tips on how to mitigate their status as victims. For example, reminding everyone that while technology is a powerful and easily accessible tool for people to connect with each other, abusers often use technology to intimidate, control, shame, and monitor their victims. This includes a list with many different tactics:

Stalking

  • Use Find My Phone apps
  • Hide GPS on a victim's car
  • Monitor phone activity
  • Install hidden video/voice on phone
  • Access hidden video/voice recording machines
  • Hack into email and social media accounts

 Spoofing

  • Block or fake a number to call or text
  • Use a trusted ally's number to call or text
  • Create a fake socila media account to impersonate a victim

 Harassing

  • Text, call or email constantly
  • Send threatening messages
  • Demand victim check-in and prove location
  • Post threats on social media

 Revenge Porn

  • Post or threaten to post intimate pictures and/or videos on social media
  • Solicit sex on Craigslist or social media using a victim's photo, name and contact information

The more knowledge a person has and the more access they have to important information, the more they are able to protect themselves. Subsequently, the more educated they are, the more alert they can be to all the possibilities that can bring them harm and the more they can prepare to manage their own situation.

It is critical to be able to define and recognize abuse in order to fight it.

The website for Partners for Women and Justice offers common examples of abusive behavior in order to provide guidance for their current and future clients. Not everyone realizes the breadth and depth of the many faces that abuse can take.

Physical abuse includes:

  • Pushing, punching, slapping, kicking, biting, strangling
  • Pulling hair, pinching, burning, cutting, whipping
  • Throwing objects
  • Using a weapon

Emotional/Psychological abuse is sometimes harder to recognize:

  • Making degrading remarks about you, your appearance or your family
  • Constant criticism (name calling, put-downs, ridiculing, blaming)
  • Yelling, swearing, humiliating you in public
  • Accusing you of flirting or having an affair
  • Harassment (constant calls, checking up on you at home or work)
  • Treating you like a servant

Threats and Intimidation (can be verbal, non-verbal or implied) are more subtle, but are very effective at exercising control over the victim:

  • Pressure tactics (using guilt or accusations, threatening you that he will have an affair, turning friends/relatives against you)
  • Tracking your every move; checking telephone bills; checking mileage on car
  • Destroying possessions/breaking furniture
  • Threatening to take children away
  • Threatening to kill you, family members or pets
  • Threatening to commit suicide

Sexual Abuse:

  • Rape
  • Forcing or threatening to force you to perform sexual acts
  • Physically attacking or injuring sexual parts of your body

Isolation is one of the hardest to overcome because it encourages a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness:

  • Alienating you from or forbidding you to see or speak with relatives/friends
  • Forbidding you from working or attending school
  • Disabling the car or removing car keys
  • Disconnecting or not allowing use of the telephone
  • Locking you in the house or in a room

Economic Abuse, a very practical way to immediately impact a victim and control their behavior, limits their options by limiting their financial stability:

  • Withholding money, denying access to money, checks and important financial documents
  • Holding you accountable for spending, checking receipts, and counting change
  • Forcing you to ask for money
  • Demanding that you turn over your paycheck or stealing your money

Use of children is probably the most frightening and devastating way to control a victim whose first concern is the safety of the family:

  • Withholding help with childcare
  • Threatening to take your children away from you
  • Using visitation to harass you
  • Telling children lies about you
  • Withholding financial support for children
  • Threatening to report you to child protective services
  • Physically or sexually abusing you in front of the children or abusing the children in front of you

We are very excited to join our colleague and friend Sally Glick to celebrate her role in the community and to thank Partners for Women and Justice for all they do to right the wrongs that take place every day.