In 2012, Florida Law Enforcement received more than 108,000 reports of domestic violence incidents statewide, ranging in severity from stalking to murder. This disturbing statistic highlights the prevalence of domestic violence across the state. In addition to law enforcement intervention, Florida law seeks to protect domestic violence victims through the issuance of restraining orders, known as “Injunctions for Protection” in Florida.
How can I protect myself if I fear imminent domestic violence?
Under Florida law, anyone who has reasonable cause to fear that they are in imminent danger of becoming a domestic violence victim may file a request, or petition, for an injunction for protection against the person threatening them, known as the “respondent”. If the court agrees that the petitioner is in imminent danger, it will grant a temporary injunction for protection for a maximum of 15 days, after which the court holds a hearing to determine if the temporary injunction should be made permanent.
What factors will a court evaluate when deciding an injunction petition?
A court may consider these and other factors in evaluating the petition:
- Relationship history between the petitioner and the respondent, including past threats, stalking, or harassment
- Past attempts by the respondent to harm the petitioner or others associated with the petitioner
- Threats by the respondent to cause harm to the petitioner’s child
- Threatened use of weapons
- Physical restraint of the petitioner by the respondent to prevent them from leaving the home or alerting law enforcement
- Destruction of petitioner’s personal property
- Respondent’s criminal history
If you fear you are in imminent danger of domestic abuse, contact law enforcement immediately and attempt to get to a secure location. A compassionate Florida domestic violence attorney can help you obtain an injunction for protection to keep you and your family safe.