Did you know that one act of domestic violence occurs every eight minutes and 29 seconds in the state of New Jersey? Did you also know that violence is indiscriminate – with victims of all ages, genders, race, ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds suffering the same dangerous fate?
Partners for Women and Justice (“Partners”) was founded in 2002 to empower low-income victims of domestic and sexual violence to build safe and secure futures for themselves and their children by providing equal access to justice. Partners operates as a public interest law firm, providing legal representation and advice with a focus on family court proceedings involving restraining orders, protection orders, child and spousal support, visitation and custody.
Twenty years later Partners for Women and Justice can proudly point to their success as they continue to work to accomplish their mission. To be inclusive of all survivors, in 2021, the organization became ‘Partners.’ Renewed and revitalized, Partners now embarks on a new decade of service to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Ready to be change makers, Partners’ focuses on serving the most vulnerable survivors, especially those who have experienced gender and racially motivated violence. With over 80% of Partners’ clientele hailing from historically marginalized communities, Partners’ mission to end domestic violence is matched with their commitment to racial justice.
Partners has a deep commitment to advocating for systemic change within the judicial process. The Advocacy Program relies on the experiences of our staff and volunteer attorneys, about challenges within the courts and then takes action to improve the outcome for survivors. Much of this work focuses on the needs of the victims who are trying to navigate the courts without an attorney.
Together, Partners’ staff and volunteers have helped more than 6,000 victims overcome domestic and sexual violence in over 8,000 legal matters. As true partners, this nonprofit engages with their clients to work together for a better future. Partners’ staff attorneys stand up for survivors in final restraining order and protective order proceedings, and advocate for the safety and support of survivor’s children in custody related matters. When working in tandem with a Partners staff attorney, victims are ensured that their legal rights will be defended. Along with managing and eliminating the violent circumstances, Partners educates victims and their communities, to strengthen pathways for survivors to break free from abuse.
With the guidance of Executive Director Julie Murphy and her team along with a deeply committed Board of Trustees led by Board Chair, Becky Fitzhugh, the organization is well-positioned to keep forging ahead, making inroads, positively impacting the lives of all victims by serving as partners to those who need them most.
To learn more about Partners and their mission, please visit their website at https://partnersnj.org