Domestic Violence Isn't Just Wrong. It's a Crime.
If you are being physically or sexually abused, threatened, or stalked by a family or household member, there is a law to protect you.
Under the provisions of Florida Statute 741.28, 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.
Family or household members 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 in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
Melbourne's Assistance to Victims
Since 1997, the Melbourne Police Department has assigned a full-time detective to work with domestic violence issues. This position was made possible through funding awarded by the Florida State Stop Violence Against Women & Children Grant program.
In 2001, the City received a Victims of Crime Act Grant through the Office of the Florida State Attorney General. The grant provided for a victim advocate, and the Victims of Crime Act Grant still assists in funding this position.
The Domestic Violence Unit serves victims of domestic violence within the city limits of Melbourne. Victims receive support in many ways, including but not limited to assistance in filing injunction applications and/or attendance at hearings, shelter referrals, and assistance in obtaining needed services and filing crime compensation claims.
Both the detective and victim advocate are certified as victim services practitioners thus ensuring victims receive only the best possible service available.
The Melbourne Police Department Domestic Violence Unit also utilizes volunteers as office staff and as volunteer advocates. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering, please contact Detective Bob Walters at 608-6464, by fax to 608-6446, or by e-mail to Robert.Walters@mlbfl.org.
ARE YOU A VICTIM?
If you are a victim of domestic violence, or if you have reason to believe that you may become a victim of any act of domestic violence, you have the right to request that an Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence be issued.
You may file for an injunction at the Clerk of Courts office. Representation by an attorney is not required and there are no filing fees. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may ask the State Attorney to file a criminal complaint.
You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence. The domestic violence may result in the circumstances listed below, and need not be limited to the circumstances that are listed here.
Domestic violence circumstances may result in the following outcomes:
- Restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse.
- Direct the abuser to leave your household.
- Prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment.
- Award you custody of your minor child or children.
- Direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.