A New Jersey organization that advocates against domestic violence has announced a name change to better reflect its true mission.

Domestic violence (Photo Credit: John Gomez, ThinkStock)

The New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women (NJCBW) is changing its name to the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence. The organization’s former name was based in tradition, but is no longer sufficient to identify who it serves, according to Jane Shivas, executive director of NJCBW.

Shivas said while domestic violence continues to impact mostly women, men can also be victims.

“Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of socioeconomic, racial or ethnic backgrounds. It happens in all communities which is part of why we are changing our name,” Shivas said.

A report based on numbers from 2013, the most recent uniform crime statistics available from the New Jersey State Police, found that were were nearly 65,000 domestic violence offenses reported to the police.

“That is a 1 percent decrease compared to the previous year, but it’s still a tremendous number. Plus, we have to take into consideration that a vast majority of domestic violence incidents are not reported,” Shivas said.

Not everybody walks away from domestic abuse.

“There were 44 murders is 2013 which was an increase of 13 percent over the 38 murders in 2012,” Shivas said.

To help end domestic violence it is critical that there be a community response in which everyone plays a role, according to Shivas, who added that public awareness is very important so that people can identify the signs and understand how to respond and get the needed help for themselves or someone they love.

Kevin McArdle has covered the State House for New Jersey 101.5 news since 2002. Contact him at kevin.mcardle@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on twitter at @kevinmcardle1.