Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By Michael Tupper
Attorney at Law

The Florida Department of Children and Families defines domestic violence as adults using a pattern of abusive behavior against their intimate partners to maintain power and control over them. We hope the information below will be helpful to those who are experiencing this power and control dynamic in their intimate relationship. 

Experiencing domestic violence can include yelling, striking, threats, and other terrifying behavior. It creates a feeling of helplessness and fear. Assaults may be verbal, physical, or sexual,  and they often seem neverending.

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, here is what you need to know.

Domestic Violence May Not Be What You Think It Is

The stereotypical example of domestic violence is a husband who physically batters his wife. This is usually depicted in the media as a menacing man and a timid wife who tries to hide a black eye under makeup.

That is far from the only example of domestic violence. A couple doesn’t have to be married for one to suffer from domestic violence. They don’t even have to be a couple anymore. Domestic violence can be directed at past partners.

Furthermore, domestic violence isn’t always a man abusing a woman. In a heterosexual relationship, a woman can be the aggressor. Additionally, people in same-sex relationships can also be the victims of domestic violence.

Common Examples of Domestic Violence

Many people assume domestic violence must involve some sort of physical assault. Sexual assault, emotional assault, and economic abuse are some of the other ways that a person can commit domestic violence. The following are common examples of domestic violence:

  • Threatening the child of a partner
  • Refusing to let a partner go anywhere alone
  • Monitoring phone calls and other types of communication the partner engages in
  • Killing or harming a pet of the partner
  • Marital rape
  • Screaming and yelling at a partner
  • Hitting or kicking a partner
  • Drawing a weapon to threaten a partner
  • Preventing a partner from accessing their bank account

Any actions that deprive a current or past intimate partner of liberty are likely a form of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence and Injunctions

One way to stop or prevent domestic violence is to get a domestic violence injunction (also known as a restraining order). In Florida, you have legal standing to pursue an injunction if:

  • You are a family member or household member of the respondent, and
  • You have been the victim of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe you are in imminent danger of domestic violence.

After filing a petition for an injunction, if the court believes the criteria for obtaining the order have been met, it will issue a temporary injunction which can require that the respondent have no contact with you. A hearing date will then be set at which you will be requested to testify. This is an opportunity for you to present evidence of domestic violence — or explain why you believe violence to be imminent — and for the respondent to present evidence of their innocence.

If the court rules in your favor, it will issue a permanent injunction that can include restricting how the respondent interacts with you, mandating counseling for them, or limiting their access to your children. It can also grant you admittance to a certified domestic violence center.

Because this is all a formal legal process, you should hire a family law attorney to represent you at the hearing. They will help you represent your side to the court and help you get the relief you need.

What to Do if You Are the Victim of Domestic Violence

One of the hardest things about being a victim of domestic violence is the feeling of helplessness. You may feel like there is no one you can turn to and no safe place you can go. Thankfully, that isn’t the case.

Florida offers hotline services for the victims of domestic violence that may be able to help. Additionally, you can call 911 and report that you feel unsafe in your home. A police officer will arrive to assist.

The most important step to take is to get away from the person who is a danger to you. This may mean you have to leave your home or even travel to another state. If it gets you away from an abuser, it is the right choice.

Also, make sure you take any other person or pet that is also in danger with you. Children and pets, in particular, can’t protect themselves from an abuser.

The biggest challenge will usually be finding resources while you are away from your abuser. Domestic violence services can help you find money and housing until the situation is resolved.

Alternatively, consider contacting a law firm like Tupper Law, P.A., that handles family law cases in Jacksonville, FL. These law firms have extensive information about resources that help people in your situation and can work quickly to get you access to your finances. That is a great first step to escaping the cycle of violence.

About the Author
Michael Tupper is an experienced and skilled attorney from Jacksonville, FL, and is the driving force behind Tupper Law P.A. With an illustrious career spanning several years, he has established himself as a reliable and skilled legal advisor and representative across various disciplines. Having obtained his license to practice law in the State of Florida in 2004, Michael has consistently catered to the legal needs of Northeast Florida, encompassing Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties. His unwavering commitment to delivering timely, personalized, and proficient services reflects his dedication to providing the highest level of professional assistance.