Escaping Dating Violence
If you are in a relationship that is abusive, you may not know exactly what to do in order to be safe. The truth is, you may be in serious danger, and getting help quickly is a wise decision. Florida law offers protections for victims of dating violence; a reputable local attorney can help you going forward.
What is Dating Violence?
Dating violence has a very specific meaning under Florida Statute. It is any violence that occurs between people who currently or formerly had a romantic or intimate relationship. Specifically, the following criteria must be met:
- You must have been in this relationship within the previous six months;
- The relationship must have held expectations of intimacy between the individuals;
- The relationship must have had continuous involvement over a period of time; in other words, it was not a casual, business, or friendship relationship.
Types of Violence
Dating violence can occur in many ways, all of which can have long-term impacts on victims. Common forms of abuse may or may not include the use of weapons, and include:
- Sexual Violence: This might include sexual battery, lewd behavior involving someone under age 16, any sexual enticements or activities involving children, or any forced sexual activity.
- Physical Violence: This type of violence takes many forms, from hitting and kicking to biting, choking, and more.
- Stalking: An abuser may track your movements and cause fear;
- Kidnapping: An abuser may hold you against your will for a period of time.
If you have been the victim of abuse through dating violence, you may file an injunction against your abuser, requiring them to stay at least 500 feet away from you and to refrain from threatening you. The initial order will last for 15 days, after which a hearing will be held to determine whether long-term restrictions are in order. You will want to provide as much information about your abuser as possible, including pictures, addresses, contact information, and work or school locations. That’s because the injunction cannot take effect until the abuser has been served with the injunction. The specifics of the injunction will be addressed in the document and will order the abuser to stay away from your home, school, place of employment, and/or business. You will want to keep a copy of this document with you at all times in case you need to call police if the injunction is violated.
If the Injunction is Violated
In the event your abuser attempts to violate the terms of the injunction, you should immediately notify the police. Your abuser may then be arrested and held until bail is set, and may in fact face additional penalties, including as much as a year behind bars and fines.
As a victim, you should never feel reluctant to seek protection from an abuser, no matter how much sorrow is expressed or how difficult it is to turn in someone you care about. At WiseLieberman, our Boca Raton domestic violence attorneys will show you the compassion you deserve as we work to ensure that you are not put in harm’s way again. Contact us in Boca Raton for a confidential consultation today.