According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), domestic violence affects about 1 in 3 women. The numbers were almost as high for men—1 in 4. Put differently, 24 people suffer physical violence from an intimate partner every minute.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy for a victim to leave. In fact, 75% of the women who are killed each year by an abusive partner are killed after they have left the relationship. Instead, domestic violence victims need significant help. Read on for more information about the resources available to domestic violence victims.
Create a Safety Plan
Victims of domestic violence often experience a sense of powerlessness as well as panic during a violent explosion. It is very easy to forget what simple steps you can take to keep yourself safe. This is where a safety plan comes it. It should include the following information:
- An exit plan for leaving the home during a violent episode (identify the door or window you can use to exit).
- The place where you will keep your purse and keys in the event you need to leave quickly.
- Who you can tell about the violence and who you can ask to call the police if they suspect something has happened to you.
- Where you can go if you need to leave the home suddenly.
- Where you will stash extra money as well as important documents, such as birth certificates or Social Security Numbers.
- How you will secure safety in your new residence if you leave.
If you need help creating a safety plan, you can contact Harbor House of Central Florida. Their 24-hour confidential hotline number is 407-886-2856. If you are outside central Florida, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Someone is available to take your call 24 hours a day.
Seek a Restraining Order
A restraining order (called a “protective order” in Florida) is an order from a judge that prohibits an abuser from contacting you or coming near you. A protective order can also include other conditions, such as:
- Forcing the abuser to move out of the home
- Prohibiting the abuser from having a firearm
- Allowing you to use the family car
- Requiring that an abuser attend an alcohol or drug treatment program
- Granting you temporary custody of the children
If your abuser violates the conditions of the order, then the police can pick him up and take him to jail. A judge can also keep the abuser in jail or order additional conditions to compel compliance with the protective order.
In Florida, you can get an emergency protective order by filing an application in court. The judge will then hold a hearing, which your abuser can attend, to decide whether to grant a permanent protective order.
Need Help? Contact Moses & Rooth
At Moses & Rooth, we have significant experience assisting those involved in domestic violence cases in Orlando. Please contact us today to learn more about the services that we offer or give us a call at (407) 377-0150.