Domestic Violence Resources for Victims and Batterers in Fort Lauderdale and all South Florida
While it’s always important to be aware of Domestic Violence in South Florida, October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and is a great reason to choose to learn more or refresh yourself on the issues involved in and surrounding Domestic Violence.
We’re going to talk a bit about the legalities of Domestic Violence in South Florida, but the main purpose of this blog is to help arm and empower you with LOCAL, South Florida resources related to domestic violence. Whether you’re looking to learn, or are a victim of domestic violence, or perhaps have been accused of committing domestic violence against someone - There are resources available to you in the South Florida area.
Domestic violence involves an individual continually attempting to gain and keep control and power over another person. Typically, this is with someone they have a close relationship with.
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence or accused of domestic violence - no matter the person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or religion. Domestic violence can instill fear, incur physical harm, or cause behavior changes in one’s partner. Don’t assume someone could not be a victim of domestic violence simply because they don’t fit a certain idea in your mind -- anyone could experience domestic violence at some point in their life, and it’s also possible that someone ‘you’d never imagine’ could also commit an act of domestic violence in South Florida.
It’s best to be aware and to keep our eyes and ears open to the people around us to ensure everyone is as safe and healthy as they can be.
If you are looking to learn more about domestic violence, the domestic violence hotline website is a great resource. There you can learn more about how to understand relationship abuse, how to recognize the power and control dynamics, understand abuse & cultural contexts, potential abuse warning signs, and even why some people do commit abuse.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES IN FLORIDA
A domestic violence charge in the state of Florida can be penalized in several ways. A domestic battery charge is a misdemeanor and someone can spend up to a year in jail or a year on probation, and owe up to $1,000 in fines.
If convicted of a felony charge of domestic violence, depending on the nature of the crime, the penalties include a no-contact order, loss of civil rights such as the right to carry a firearm, probation for a year, community service, 5-day required jail time, or the completion of a 26-week Batterer’s Intervention Program.
Once one is convicted of an act of domestic violence, that individual cannot have their record sealed or expunged even if they receive a withhold of adjudication.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES IN SOUTH FLORIDA
In South Florida, there are several resources for victims of domestic violence which are available to assist anyone who may need help - regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and nationality.
Resources for Women Victims of Domestic Violence
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a resource for you no matter where you live. It provides 24/7 support for survivors and they have advocates who have received an extensive amount of training to provide callers with someone to talk to, help find resources and information, or to answer any questions you may have. Even if you yourself are not experiencing Domestic Violence, you can still call this number if you are worried about a friend or perhaps have questions about a situation you’ve seen or are worried about, etc.
- Phone Number: 1-800-799-7233
- Website: https://thedeafhotline.org/
- Email: [email protected]
- Mailing Address: The National Domestic Violence Hotline PO Box 90249 Austin, Texas 78709
- Please note - in case of an emergency or to report what you think is an active domestic violence situation, please call 911 or your local police department.
Two Local South Florida Domestic Violence Resources Include:
- Women in Distress
- YMCA Harmony House Palm Beach
These two programs are particularly best for women who are victims of domestic violence. These establishments seek to provide a safe space for women and girls while also advocating for civil rights and women’s empowerment.
Women can receive counseling to help recover from traumatic events, housing, financial support, and education about domestic violence at both of these centers.
The following resources are all related to crisis intervention, safety planning, and victim support. These three establishments also educate the public, survivors, and abusers about domestic violence and the implications of it. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department also provides legal assistance by giving a victim or batterer referrals to legal agencies:
- Victim Response Incorporated (The Lodge)
- Aids to Victims of Domestic Abuse
- Phone: (561) 265-3797
- Address: P.O. Box 6161
- Delray Beach, FL 33482-6161
- Website: https://www.avdaonline.org/
- Fort Lauderdale Police Department
- Specific Phone Number for victims: 954-828-5507
- Address: 1300 W Broward Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
- Websites: https://www.flpd.org/community/victim-services
South Florida Domestic Violence Survivor Says Help Available during Coronavirus Pandemic
During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Florida Police say Domestic Violence calls have been increasing, according to NBC 6. Police want people and victims to know that there is always help available.
A South Florida woman who was a victim of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic shared her story with NBC 6. Marie said she dealt with fights, restraining orders, and stalking behaviors. At one point, her abuser even attempted to kill her and stabbed her 8 times at her home in Hialeah.
Because more people are at home, more people have lost jobs and those whith children are doing remote learning, tensions have risen, explained Hialeah Police Department's Special Victims Unit Sergeant July Fernandez. "I want to assure every victim that we are here for you," she added.
No matter who you are, male or female, South Florida police and victim resources are available to you - even during the pandemic.
Marie said that getting out of domestic violence in South Florida can be hard, but she wants people to know there is a way out - it is possible.
She says you have to really want to get out - unfortunately for her, she said, she didn't understand how much she had to "want" to get out until something really serious happened and she knew she needed to get help.
If you don't know what to do, or who to call, you can always call 911, your local police department, or the Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) to get help on next steps and what you can do to be safe and get access to resources.
Resources for People Accused of Domestic Violence Offenses
There are also resources present for people who are accused of or commit domestic violence crimes in South Florida.
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline provides a list of questions for one to ask themselves if they think they are hurting their partner.
Advocates that work for the hotline provide abusers with information on where to receive help, strategies for de-escalating potentially volatile situations, and they can inform abusers about battering intervention and prevention programs.
- National Abuse Hotline number: 1-800-799-7233
- Website: https://www.thehotline.org/
Batterers Intervention Programs in South Florida
There are a few court certified batterers intervention programs in South Florida. Programs include an individual going through a psychoeducation plan to provide them with the necessary tools to change their behaviors, values and beliefs.
The below programs provide counseling and anger management programs where one can analyze the tactics, they use to exert power and dominance over another individual and to control their anger.
- The Glass House
- Professional Counseling and Consulting Group
- Phone number: (954) 761-9333
- Address: 101 N.W. 3rd Avenue, Suite 1500, Ft, Lauderdale, Florida 33301
- Website: http://www.pccgfl.com/
- Counseling Meditation Education Treatment
- Phone number: (954) 835-5741
- Address: 1527 NorthEast 4th Avenue Fort Lauderdale FL, 33304
- Website: https://www.cmetfl.com/
Florida Courts also Provide a list of Batterers’ Intervention Program Providers in Florida :
- If you’re in Broward County, you want to check out the resources for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit.
- If you’re in Miami-Dade County, you want to check out the resources for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.
- If you’re in Palm Beach County, you want to check out the resources for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.
Give Rossen Law Firm a call if you or someone you know may need help filing an order of protection, restraining order or criminal defense for a charge or accusation of domestic violence. We offer Free Strategy sessions if you’re facing any Domestic Violence Charges in South Florida.
Reach Rossen Law Firm today at (754) 206-6200.