Philip Seidle, a former Neptune police sergeant, is expected to be sentenced to 30 years in prison for fatally shooting his ex-wife, Tamara Wilson-Seidle. The couple reportedly finalized their divorce only three weeks before the fatal shooting. Moreover, police had reportedly responded to the family’s home on six occasions for domestic-violence related incidents in the past, although it is unclear if Seidle’s ex-wife ever obtained a restraining order against him.
This domestic violence homicide case is a tragic reminder that domestic violence is a real, ongoing, and dangerous problem in New Jersey. In fact, according to the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, recent statistics indicate that there were 65,000 reported incidents of domestic violence and 44 homicides resulting from domestic violence in New Jersey in 2013. These troubling statistics include acts of domestic violence far less severe than homicide because domestic violence and abuse take many forms. In fact, under New Jersey’s domestic violence law, the NJ Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, there are 18 specific acts that constitute domestic violence: homicide, assault, terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, stalking, criminal coercion, robbery, contempt of a domestic violence order, and any other crime involving risk of death or serious bodily injury. N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19(1) through (18).
Regardless of the nature of the specific act of domestic violence, victims are able to apply for temporary restraining orders at their county courthouse or at the police department in the town where they reside, where the perpetrator resides, or where the act of domestic violence occurred.
To learn more about what constitutes domestic violence and how to obtain a restraining order in New Jersey if you are the victim of domestic violence, click here.
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