Domestic Violence Information

What is Domestic Violence?

Under the provisions of Section 741.28, F.S., domestic violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

This includes acts such as:

  • Dating Violence: violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature Section 784.046(1)(d) F.S.
  • Emotional/Verbal Abuse
    • Acting out in anger
    • Following and stalking
    • Threats
    • Verbal intimidation
  • Physical Abuse:
    • Beating
    • Choking
    • Kicking
    • Punching
    • Pushing
    • Slapping
  • Sexual Abuse: any unwanted touching or forcing of someone to engage in a sexual act against his/her will

What Does the Law Mean?

If someone is abusing you physically or sexually, threatening you, falsely imprisoning you, or if a family or household member is stalking you, there is a law to protect you. Family or household member means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have resided together in the same single dwelling unit in the past. The law also protects you if you are currently in or have been in a violent dating relationship within the last 6 months.