Statistics show that one in every four women will be targeted in an act of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime, while three out of every four people in the U.S. know someone personally who has experienced some form of abuse. Although the number of male victims is substantially lower, this may be due to the fact that men are less likely to come forward about the abuse. Whether you are a man or a woman, however, the Jacksonville divorce attorney at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. would like to ensure that you understand your rights if you have been subjected to an act of domestic violence. One of the most practical ways to stop instances of abuse in Florida is to obtain an injunction for protection. This is a court order, which is also commonly referred to as a "restraining order," that would effectively prohibit the abusive party from coming into contact with the victim.
This order can be taken out against an abusive spouse, boyfriend / girlfriend, roommate, relative or member of one's household. The victim must be able to show that they have experienced some form of domestic violence, however, as the court typically won't grant an injunction for protection without legitimate reasoning. One would have viable grounds to seek this protection if they had experienced assault, battery, sexual abuse, kidnapping or even stalking. At that point, they would need to file a request with one of three courthouses: the courthouse located in the county in which they live, the courthouse located in the county in which the domestic violence occurred or the courthouse located in the county in which the alleged abuser lives. On the paperwork, they would need to include the offender's address and phone number, details of the abuse and copies of any applicable police reports.
Once the petition has been submitted, the court will order a temporary restraining order and set a court date. The temporary injunction for protection will last a maximum of 15 days, and in that time, the victim and the abuser will need to appear before a judge. During this hearing, each party will have the opportunity to tell their side of the story. If the judge sees fit, they would subsequently order a full restraining order and explain the terms and conditions involved—which often require the offender to stay away from the victim, avoid contacting them via phone, email or text and move out of their shared home. If you have been subjected to an act of domestic violence and you are looking for protection, the Jacksonville divorce lawyer at our firm encourages you to find out how we can help. Call our office today at (904) 849-5183 to learn more.