Domestic Violence Response Team-DVRT
About the Team
The Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) is a team of volunteers trained to assist victims of domestic violence. The primary purpose of the team is to offer emergency support, alternatives, and referrals to victims of domestic violence. DVRT members are screened by the West Orange Police Department and trained and qualified in domestic violence intervention. DVRT provides a neutral, less authoritarian atmosphere to victims who are traumatized, confused, uncertain, or reluctant to seek help. They are there to listen and to help. When the police bring a victim of Domestic Violence into headquarters, a DVRT member will be available to speak with the victim.
For more information, contact (973) 325-4025 or email Criminal Investigation Unit. If you are in an emergency situation, call 9-1-1 immediately. Since DVRT is on call 24/7, a victim of domestic violence can go to police headquarters at anytime and request to speak to a DVRT member.
DVRT members are available to answer victims' questions and listen to their concerns. Upon the victim's request, they can:
- Advise the victim of all options available as they pertain to their right to be safe
- Provide referrals for counseling options and support, drug and alcohol counseling, shelters, 24-hour hotline, and victim advocacy programs
- Explain the advantages of seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) and explain the relief granted, including ordered counseling for the abuser and no contact order
- Explain the filing of criminal complaints and the requirement (in certain cases) that the police must file a criminal complaint, regardless of the victim's desires
- Explain the family court procedures, the aftermath of court proceedings, the importance of a safety plan, and steps the victim can take to minimize injury to the victim and the victim's children (if a TRO is granted)
- Arrange shelter for the victim and any minor children
Should a victim choose to speak to a volunteer, this will be done in a private room at West Orange Police Headquarters. All discussions will remain confidential. This means that no written record of the conversation will be kept, and what is discussed stays between the victim and the DVRT member. A exception to this privilege arises under circumstances that involve suicide, homicide, the existence of weapons, or if there is reasonable belief that a child has been abused or neglected. In these situations, volunteers are legally obligated to report this information to a police officer for follow-up.