It isn't just wrong...
It's a crime!
What Is Domestic Violence?
Under the provisions of Florida State Statute 741.28, domestic violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit. This includes acts such as:
- Physical Abuse — Pushing, slapping, kicking, punching, choking and beating.
- Emotional/Verbal Abuse — Threats, verbal intimidation, following and stalking, or acting out in anger.
- Sexual Abuse — Any unwanted touching or forcing of someone to engage in a sexual act against his/her will.
What Does The Law Mean?
If you are being physically or sexually abused, threatened, or stalked by a family or household member, there is a law to protect you. Family or household member means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past as a family, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
Are You A Victim Of Domestic Violence?
If You Are The Victim Of Domestic Violence, or if you have reason to believe that you may become a victim of any act of domestic violence, you have the right to request that an INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE be issued. The Clerk of the Court is required to assist you in seeking both injunctions for protection against domestic violence and enforcement for a violation of an injunction. Representation by an attorney is not required. If you cannot afford the filing fees, tell the Clerk of the Court and there may be no cost.
As Stated In Florida Statute 741.29(1)(b):
If You Are The Victim Of Domestic Violence, you may ask the State Attorney to file a criminal complaint. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence that may include, but need not be limited to:
- provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse;
- directing the abuser to leave your household;
- preventing the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment;
- awarding you custody of your minor child or children; and
- directing the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.
For safety reasons, you may furnish your address to the court in a separate confidential filing when filing the petition for injunction.
How Can The Law Help Me?
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, if the abuser has hurt you sexually or physically, or if you are afraid that you will be hurt, Florida’s domestic violence law enables you to work with the court system to stop the violence.
Go to the Clerk of the Court’s Office in your county courthouse.
- Bring identification.
- Bring information about where the abuser can be located.
- Bring any other information on the abuser, such as photos or identification.
- Bring any papers relating to your case.
- Tell the clerk that you are interested in filing an injunction for protection from domestic violence. The Clerk of the Court will help you in filing the proper paperwork. By filling out these forms, you will be explaining to the judge whom you need protection from and exactly what type of protection you need.
- After you have completed the paperwork, the court may determine that danger of domestic violence exists. The court may order a temporary injunction, which is good for 15 days. Then a full hearing is held to consider the safety of you and your children.
- The abuser must be served with the injunction before it becomes effective. The injunction will tell the abuser what the judge requires and when to return to court for a hearing. This hearing will be within 15 days unless the abuser can not be served.
- It is important for you to attend the hearing so that you can make sure the judge understand exactly what help you need and why. If you do not attend, usually the judge will end the injunction.
After the hearing, a final injunction may be granted. It may be valid for up to one year and may be extended past that time.
What Do I Do If The Abuser Violates The Injunction?
You will receive a copy of the injunction. Keep it with you at all times.
If the abuser violates the conditions of the injunction, call the police right away.
- The abuser may be arrested.
- If the abuser is arrested, he/she will be held until the court determines bail.
- The judge will consider your safety and the safety of your children.
- You may go to court if you wish.
- The court may order penalties as allowed by law.
IF THE INJUNCTION HAS BEEN VIOLATED, BUT NO ARREST HAS BEEN MADE, report the violation to the Clerk’s Office where you filed your injunction papers. The Clerk’s Office will help you file your petition for enforcement for the violation. The judge will determine what action should be taken for your safety and the safety of your children.
Exemption From Public Inspection
Under the provisions of Florida State Statute 119.70(3)(s), any information which reveals the home or employment telephone number, home or employment address, or personal assets of a person who has been the victim of sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated stalking, harassment, aggravated battery, or domestic violence is exempt from public inspection and examination. You must make a written request and provide official verification, such as a police report, that an applicable crime has occurred. Such information shall remain exempt for 5 years, after which it will become available to the public.
Whom May I Talk To For More Information?
|Florida Domestic Violence Hotline
|Florida Abuse Hotline
(To file reports of child abuse)
|National Child Abuse Hotline
(24 hour help line and counseling)
|National Domestic Violence Hotline
|Local Agency||Phone #|
|Leesburg Police Department
|State Attorney’s Office
|Lake County Courthouse Injunctions
|Lake Co. Sheriff’s Office
|Lake Co. Rape Crisis Center
|Women’s Care Center
|Men’s Rescue Mission