MU Learns About Relationships and Domestic Violence

The University held a relationship seminar in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Monday, Oct. 21.

The event informed students of the differences between good and bad relationships, the dangers of domestic violence, and the process of filing a restraining order.

Counseling and Psychological Services at the University invited Monica Gural to run the event. Gural is a Supervising Attorney Specialist in New Jersey to help violence victims attain restraining orders.

Gural explained that the majority of domestic violence incidents happen to females. She also used videos and charts during her presentation to explain the reality of domestic violence in relationships.

The event explained what creates a healthy vs. an unhealthy relationship, how to deal with disagreements in a relationship, the cycle of violence in abusers, and why victims stay in violent relationships.

“I want everyone to take what they got today and use it six months or a year from now,” said Gural. “Next time they hear about a bad relationship from a family member or a friend, they will know what to do or say in those situations.”

The process of filing a restraining order includes many specifications that victims must possess, Gural said.

A restraining order can only be given to those who are over the age of 18 and are only issued to a spouse, a former spouse, or a person who is presently or formerly a household member. However, if a victim is in a dating relationship, has a common child with the abuser, or is pregnant, the 18 and over rule does not apply.

The law states that the top three reasons to file a restraining order are assault, terroristic threats or harassment. Restraining orders do not go on work records, and a person with a restraining order is not allowed to own a fire arm.

If caught trying to get in contact with the victim, the offender is sentenced to automatic jail time. NJ is the only state where restraining orders never expire.

“The presentation was very informative, but it was presented informally enough that it kept my attention and I felt comfortable asking questions,” Amy Rochette, a junior criminal justice major said.

“I learned a lot about how relationships should be, and more importantly, what they shouldn’t be,” Rochette continued.

Dr. Rebecca Sanford, an Associate communication professor, said, “In addition to more commonly known types of violent behaviors today, today’s couples have an added layer of potential complication to their partnerships in the form of digital abuse, or the use of technology and/or social media in threatening or harassing ways.”

Gural stressed that the information presented in events like the relationship seminar are essential to University students. “I think it’s an important topic for people of any age, but especially for college students who will get into more intimate relationships in the future,” she said.

If students would like to learn more about domestic violence in relationships or the process of filing a restraining order, they can visit the Legal Services of New Jersey’s (LSNJ) website at