Couples fight and argue. Families get into disagreements. Roommates can’t get along. But, in some cases, these conflicts rise to the level that violence between people is dangerous and needs intervention. Our recent situation, where families, roommates, neighbors, and others are confined to their living spaces for elongated time periods highlight for many that their homes are not safe places for themselves or the people around them. It’s another serious dilemma facing us all as schools who watch over the safety of children are closed, and those who suffer feel as though they must suffer in silence, because there is no place that is safe for them to go.
Unfortunately, as liquor stores are considered “essential businesses” and many individuals face economic stress as well as fear from the Coronavirus, the climate for domestic violence is warming and becoming dangerous. Many law enforcement agencies have reported lower than normal call logs for assistance in situations of domestic violence, but that does not mean that the incidents themselves are lower, but rather that many who find themselves in a domestic violence situation feel as though there is no where for them to go, or they fear where they will have to go while trying to keep themselves safe during these days of “social distancing.”
If you are experiencing a violent or threatening situation in your home, now is not time to remain quiet. As a community, we are surging in reaching out to others, and being of service to one another in helping to get through this time. Calling law enforcement to report violence, or going to the hospital if you have been injured is not something that you should wait on in hopes that your partner will stop, no matter what they say. If you are being hurt, or threatened, you can go to the local courthouse in your area. In the State of Florida, the Courthouse remains open with a trained staff to help you to file the necessary Petition for Protection Against Domestic Violence, and the judges are reviewing these Petitions and placing temporary Orders for Protection Against Domestic Violence, if legally sufficient, to protect people during these times. At Wood, Atter, & Wolf, P.A., we are also working diligently through this time to help those in need that may need representation to facilitate the filing or advocacy in the courtroom of domestic violence injunctions to keep victims and children safe. As an experienced attorney in the field of domestic violence, knowing whether your situation is one that requires an injunction, and what services may available to help you through this time, is a main priority, as well as ensuring that your home can remain a safe place for you.
At no time should you feel that you are a burden or “people have bigger problems to deal with,” statistics clearly show that domestic violence is a situation that does not get better without help and intervention. Speak up and out! Reaching out to an attorney is the best way to educate yourself to have less fear of the unknown, and how to deal with what may come as a result of filing. Too many time, when individuals find themselves in a situation where they don’t know what to do, they do nothing, which in this case could be deadly. Understanding how the process works, and what protections can be afforded to you via a Temporary Injunction, or a Final Injunction that could protect you or your children is key to being able to make a plan to get out of this dangerous situation. We are here to help, and will work to ensure that the situation can be made better.