What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to establish power and control over a partner.
Examples are: intimidation, threats (which is assault), isolation, threat of financial loss and psychological abuse.
Domestic Violence is a crime and includes behaviors like pushing, grabbing, poking, pinching, hitting, and punching (which is battery), or any criminal offence resulting in injury.
In addition to physical violence, if you have been forced to do something sexual (which is sexual battery) that you didn’t want to do or if you have been kept from food, medicine or a doctor’s care you are a victim of Domestic Violence.
People who may be included in Domestic Violence are a wife or husband, parent of a child, family member or someone you have lived with as a family.
If you feel like this may be you then you have the right to protect yourself and the children who may also be involved. You can call the police in an emergency, file a report about the violence, go to the Clerk of Courts and ask for an injunction or call a hotline to get information or ideas and to find shelters.
Your children ARE being affected by Domestic Violence
Children who witness family violence are affected in ways similar to children who are physically abused. Children who see and hear violence in the home suffer physically and emotionally.
Children react differently based on age and gender, but children who witness domestic violence show more anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, anger and temperament problems. This trauma can show up in emotional, behavioral, social and physical disturbances.
Are You Abused?
· Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells to keep the peace?
· Does your partner hurt you with bad names or put-downs?
· Keep you from getting a job?
· Keep you from seeing friends or family?
· Blame you for his/her mistakes?
· Behave in an overprotective way or become very jealous?
· Pressure you to have sex?
· Slap, hit or punched you?
· Control the money
· Say things to scare you such as: tell you something bad will happen if you don’t listen or threaten to commit suicide?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be in an abusive relationship.
What to do next
If you have filed a report for Domestic Violence there are a couple of things you should do:
Go to the Clerk of Courts and file for an Injunction for Protection. This is free; all you will need is valid identification, a case number(s) or report(s) and an address and phone number where the defendant may be found and the types of weapons does he/she have access to.
If you can’t answer all of these questions, PLEASE go and file anyway. You may still file for an injunction even if no report was filed.
If there was an arrest made and the defendant went to jail there will be a “NO CONTACT ORDER” issued when he/she is released. This is automatically done by the judge. The defendant is to have no contact with you at all. That means no phone calls, no driving by the residence, no letters mailed to you, NOTHING. He/she will be allowed to come to the residence one time escorted by a law enforcement officer to retrieve some personal belongings. This order will last until there is a final decision made by a judge.
Just as stated above, you should still file for an Injunction for Protection, as it is a separate order from the no contact order issued by the judge and provides you with additional protection.
What good is an Injunction?
An Injunction will help you establish:
The Police can arrest the abuser or the police can file for an arrest warrant if the abuser is no longer at the scene.
Keep a journal of all violations, writing down all violations, dates, times and witnesses.
Most importantly remember... you do not have to be abused again to put the abuser back in jail.
Always keep a copy of the No Contact Order/Injunction available.
Domestic Violence Websites
Helpful Telephone Numbers
24 hour Domestic Violence Hotline
Salvation Army 631-2764
Serene Harbor 726-8282
Lawyer’s Referral–Brevard Bar Assoc. 636-5344
State Attorney 264-6933
Clerk of Court 637-5413
Family Counseling Center 632-5792
Circles of Care 24hr Info Line 722-5200
Women’s Center 242-3110
Brevard Co. Family/Children’s Services 633-1951
Child Care Association
Fl. Dept. of Children & Families (AFDC, Food Stamps)
Child Support Enforcement 1-800-622-5347
Rape Hotline 784-4357