Last month, the Bergen County courthouse in Hackensack NJ held a ceremony for the opening of a Waiting Room for domestic violence victims. People also gathered for a ceremonial re-opening of the refurbished Children’s Court Care Center at the courthouse.
Domestic violence victims awaiting hearings in the Bergen County courthouse now have a place to go while they await court proceedings. This will allow them to avoid encountering the persons they have accused. Additionally, the courthouse now has a restored space and play area where litigants can safely drop off their children.
The Waiting Room could help victims of domestic crisis to dealing with the trauma by giving them a separate area in the courtroom in which they can feel secure.
According to the Superior Court assignment judge, approximately ten (10) domestic violence complaints are filed each day in the Bergen County.
Because of the high number of domestic violence victims passing through the court on a daily basis, it was determined that a strong need existed for a separate waiting area. The Bergen Family Court joined forces with Bergen County domestic violence services providers such as the National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section to complete the ambitious project. Independent organizations donated everything from furniture to flooring.
The Waiting Room was originally set to open in October 2012, but Superstorm Sandy delayed the opening until last month.
The storm also damaged the Children’s Court Care Center, causing the center to be closed while the facilities were restored. During the storm, water seeped into the center from a conjoined courtroom that was entirely underwater.
Organizers said that private organizations such as the Benson Family Fund were extremely helpful in aiding the children’s center reopening by donating items such as furniture.
Both the Waiting Room and the Children’s Court Care Center will be open during the Bergen County courthouse’s normal business hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
For more information, see the NorthJersey.com article entitled “At Bergen County Courthouse, New Rooms to Safeguard Domestic-Abuse Victims, Handle Kids.”