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Under the provisions of Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes, domestic violence means any - page 1 / 2

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WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

Under the provisions of Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes, domestic violence means any

assault,

aggravated

assault,

battery,

aggravated

battery,

battery,

stalking,

sexual

assault,

sexual

aggravated

stalking,

kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

A family or household members are spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.

With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single

dwelling unit.

Domestic Violence includes:

Physical AbusePushing, slapping, punching, choking, and beating

kicking,

Emotional/Verbal AbuseThreats,

verbal

intimidation, following and stalking, or acting

out in anger

Sexual

Abuse

or

BatteryAny

unwanted

touching or forcing of someone to engage in a sexual act against his or her will

WHAT IS REPEAT VIOLENCE?

Under the provisions of Section 784.046 of the Florida Statutes, repeat violence means two incidents of violence or stalking one of which must have been within 6 months of filing a petition and must have been directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.

WHAT IS DATING VIOLENCE?

Under the provisions of Section 784.046 of the Florida Statutes, dating violence is violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:

  • A dating relationship must have existed

within the past 6 months;

  • The nature of the relationship must have

been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties; and

  • The frequency and type of interaction

between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

The term does not include

violence in a

casual

acquaintanceship

or

violence

between engaged

individuals who only in ordinary fraternization

have in a

business or social context.

WHAT IS SEXUAL VIOLENCE?

Under the provisions of Section 784.046 of the

Florida Statutes, incident of

sexual

violence

is

one

  • Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794;

  • A lewd or

chapter 800, presence of a

lascivious act, as defined in committed upon or in the person younger than 16 years

of

age;

Luring

or

enticing

a

child,

as

described

in

chapter 787;

  • Sexual

performance

by

a

child,

as

described in chapter 827; or

  • Any other forcible felony wherein a sexual

act is committed or attempted, regardless of

whether

criminal

charges

incident were filed, the state attorney.

reduced,

based

on

or

dismissed

the

by

WHAT DOES THE LAW MEAN?

You have the right to ask the State Attorney to file a criminal complaint, and you have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence,

dating violence, or sexual violence if you are

  • The victim of domestic violence, repeat

violence, dating violence, or sexual violence,

  • The parent of any minor child living at

home who is seeking an injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence, OR

  • If you have reasonable cause to believe,

you or your minor child is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence.

This may include, but need not be limited to provisions that

  • Restrain the abuser from further acts of

abuse

  • Direct the abuser to leave your household

  • Prevent the abuser from being within 500

feet of your residence, school, business, or place of employment

  • Award you custody of your minor child or

children

  • Direct the abuser to pay support to you

and the minor child or 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.

You are

not

required

to

remain

in

a

residence or household where you are a victim of domestic violence. Your address may be different from that of your partner without penalty.

HOW CAN THE LAW HELP ME?

If you have been a victim of domestic violence,

repeat

violence,

dating

violence,

or

sexual

violence, or if you are afraid that you will be hurt, Florida’s domestic violence law enables you to work with the court system to help keep you safe. Contact your local domestic violence center for safety planning prior to filing for an injunction. The Clerk of the Court is required to assist you in seeking both injunctions for protection and enforcement for a violation of an injunction. Representation by an attorney is not required of either party as per Section 741.30(1)(f) of the Florida Statutes. 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 a petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, dating violence, or sexual violence.

  • The court clerk will help you in filing the proper paperwork. By filling out these forms, you will be explaining to the judge exactly what type of protection you need and from whom you need protection.

  • 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 cannot be served.

  • You are able to request notification of service of the injunction and receive notice automatically within 12 hours after the injunction is served.

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