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Domestic Violence

female domestic violence victim in front of window
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The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence is suing two insurers, asking a court to force the companies to cover costs resulting from state lawsuits against the embattled domestic-violence agency because of allegedly “exorbitant” executive compensation.

As Floridians stay home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus some worry about another potential threat—the increased risk of domestic violence.

For weeks, after the spread of the coronavirus began, Gov. Ron DeSantis resisted calls to implement a state-wide stay-at-home order. DeSantis worried about the impact the order would have on domestic violence and abuse across the state. He also worries about the mental health impact the stress related to coronavirus is having on all Floridians.

State Sues Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Mar 4, 2020
woman at podium with one man on each side, Florida seal behind her
Florida Attorney General's Office

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration and Attorney General Ashley Moody on Wednesday took legal action against the executive leadership of an embattled domestic violence nonprofit organization, accusing the group's leaders of misusing public funds to pad executives’ salaries.

A six-hour grilling by a key House committee Monday revealed that several board members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence were unaware that the former CEO of the non-profit agency received $7 million in compensation over three years.

Florida House Cracks Down On Domestic Violence Agency

Feb 22, 2020
Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House on Thursday voted to repeal a law that requires the state to contract with a domestic violence non-profit organization, amid a bipartisan outcry from lawmakers and investigations into the former agency head’s compensation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida House on Thursday intensified an inquiry into Florida’s domestic violence agency, calling for additional investigations and issuing subpoenas over the former head of the taxpayer-backed organization’s compensation.

The Temple Terrace Public Library's Erica Richardi serves as the young adult librarian, but she stresses that the library is a place where everyone is welcome. 

So she started an initiative where the library created posters and placed them inside the doors of the bathroom stalls to tackle difficult subjects that people might not feel they can ask about outright. 


The Defense Department Inspector General found that the military handles domestic violence on base inconsistently, leading to fewer prosecutions and ongoing danger for the people who are abused.

It seems more and more North Florida families are literally self-destructing.

The Florida state attorney's office says a woman who turned her husband's guns in to authorities will face a misdemeanor trespassing charge, and that she will not be charged with burglary.

Her husband was under arrest for domestic violence charges, accused of ramming her car with his, when the woman brought his guns to police.

Police had originally charged Courtney Irby, 32, with armed burglary and grand theft after she took her husband's guns from his home and gave them to police. She spent six days in jail on the charges.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed 38 bills, including a controversial measure that will make it harder for groups and citizens to put proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot. 

Hernando County Clerk of Circuit Court

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and local law enforcement and community service groups are encouraging people to speak out about the problem.

A new report shows that while there has been an overall decline in homicides, both nationally and locally, the rate of domestic violence homicides hasn’t improved.

Hundreds of survivors of domestic violence have come through the doors of neurologist Glynnis Zieman’s Phoenix clinic in the past three years.

“The domestic violence patients are the next chapter of brain injury,” she said.

October is the Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month, the Florida Department of Children and Families also received a grant to help support domestic violence victims.

One in five women report having experienced rape, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida State University doctoral candidate Wayne Rivera says that means many people know a sexual assault survivor, whether they realize it not.

"The way I'm defining it at least, which includes friends and partners. Most people tend to know a victim. Maybe they disclose to them or not. But most people will tend to know a victim or survivor," Rivera said.

Florida's Crime Rate Drops, But Sexual Assaults Are Rising

Nov 16, 2015

Florida's overall crime rate is dropping, but the number of reported sex offenses and sexual assaults is rising.

Tampa Bay Rays

A Clearwater woman who became an advocate for domestic violence victims after her own horrific attack is now engaged to a man she calls her "Prince Charming" - an EMT who helped save her life.

A bill allowing victims of sexual and physical abuse to secretly record their attackers to use as evidence in court passed the Florida House.

npr.org

It's a story that's been dominating media coverage -- top to bottom -- from mainstream media to social media and everything in between.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had already been suspended for two games after a video surfaced of him hauling his unconscious then-fiancé Janay out of an Atlantic City elevator.

Now Rice has been suspended indefinitely after the rest of that video surfaced, showing the punch that knocked out Janay, who is now his wife.

Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) broke ground on its new shelter for victims of domestic violence Tuesday morning. With an increasing number of domestic abuse cases in Pinellas County, providing refuge for victims has become a challenge for CASA's current thirty-bed shelter.

CASA's director of advancement Nicole Worthington hopes that its new, 100-bed shelter will give more victims a safe place to call home.

Domestic Violence Awareness Vigil Tonight

Oct 21, 2013
morguefile.com

The Alpha House of Tampa, a non-profit that serves pregnant women and their families in crisis, is holding its fourth-annual domestic violence awareness vigil tonight. This year's featured guest speaker is a local domestic and sexual abuse survivor, Valerie Miller.

A Tampa woman tried to kill herself and her 12-year-old daughter by setting fire to her car in their garage after being beaten by her ex-husband, The Tampa Tribune reports. Neighbors rescued them. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the mother and daughter described the episode as a suicide pact. Both were sent to hospitals for psychiatric examination.

Orlando Sentinel

A 21-year-old University of Central Florida student is recovering from a violent attack at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, who ran her over with his car in an on-campus parking garage and then beat her until a bystander intervened, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

Abuse Victim Logs Onto Facebook for Help

May 31, 2012

A west Volusia County woman was being abused by her boyfriend and she had no means of calling 9-1-1 herself, so she logged onto Facebook instead.

Rhonda Torres told officials that her boyfriend, Edwin Otero, continued to beat her and she couldn't call 9-1-1 because he tore the phones from the wall and took her cell phone.

That's when she logged onto Facebook and instant messaged a friend for help. The friend then called the police.

New Law Changes the Rules for Domestic Violence Cases

May 25, 2012

A new provision for domestic violence laws had been proposed by several groups interested in protecting abuse victims. It will allow previous interviews with the victim, like 911 calls, to be used in the proceedings, even if the victim refuses to testify.

Bradenton State Senator Mike Bennett was among the interested parties who helped pass the law. He said that the new law allows cases of domestic violence to proceed.

"Too many times on domestic violence, the victim is absolutely afraid to testify, for one reason or another,” he says.