FLORIDA DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
741.28 Domestic violence; definitions. –As used in ss. 741.28-741.31: “Department” means the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“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 family or household member. ·(1)
ARE YOU BEING ABUSED?
Does the person you love…
- Make you feel afraid?
- Threaten to hurt you or your family?
- Destroy personal property or things that are special to you?
- Blame his or her anger on something you did or did not do?
- Humiliate you in front of others?
- Hit, punch, slap, kick, bite you or prevent you from leaving the room?
If you are in a violent relationship, plan when and how you will get out of it. The most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when he or she attempts to leave their partner. ·(2)
Here are some safety tips from the National Coalition against Domestic Violence:
HAVE A SAFETY PLAN
If you are still in the relationship:
- Think of a safe place to go if an argument occurs – avoid rooms with no exits (bathroom), or rooms with weapons (kitchen).
- Think about and make a list of safe people to contact.
- Keep change with you at all times.
- Memorize all important numbers.
- Establish a “code word” or “sign” so that family, friends, teachers or co-workers know when to call for help.
- Think about what you will say to your partner if he\she becomes violent.
Remember, you have the right to live without fear and violence.
IF YOU HAVE LEFT THE RELATIONSHIP:
- Change your phone number.
- Screen calls.
- Save and document all contacts, messages, injuries or other incidents involving the batterer.
- Change locks, if the batterer has a key.
- Avoid staying alone.
- Plan how to get away if confronted by an abusive partner.
- If you have to meet your partner, do it in a public place.
- Vary your routine.
- Notify school and work contacts.
- Call a shelter for battered women.
If you leave the relationship or are thinking of leaving, you should take important papers and documents with you to enable you to apply for benefits or take legal action.
Important papers you should take include social security cards and birth certificates for you and your children, your marriage license, leases or deeds in your name or both yours and your partner’s names, your checkbook, your charge cards, bank statements and charge account statements, insurance policies, proof of income for you and your spouse (pay stubs or W-2’s), and any documentation of past incidents of abuse (photos, police reports, medical records, etc.)(3)
CALL THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER’S
24 HOUR HOTLINE
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LINKS & RESOURCES
- The Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Shelter – (352) 622-8495 / (352) 622-5919 – http://ocaladvshelter.org/
- Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection – (352) 873-4739 – http://kimberlyscenter.org/
- The Marion County Children’s Alliance – (352) 438-5990 – www.breakthesilenceonviolence.org
- The Department of Children and Families – (866) 762-2237 – www.dcf.state.fl.us
- Community Legal Services of Mid-Fl – (352) 629-6257 – www.clsmf.org
- The National Coalition against Domestic Violence – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) – www.NCADV.org
- United Way of Marion County – (353) 732-9696 or simply dial 211 – http://www.uwmc.org/2-1-1
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) – http://www.thehotline.org/help/
- The Attorney General’s Office – (850) 414-3300 – http://myfloridalegal.com/victims