What Is Domestic Violence? Under the provisions of Florida Statute 741.28, domestic violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, 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.
Are You A Victim Of Domestic Violence? IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, or if you have reasonable cause to believe you are in imminent danger of becoming the 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 of either party.
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 which 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. 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 your safety and the safety of 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 understands 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. The final injunction is valid until dissolved or amended by the court.
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