Domestic violence is defined by a pattern of controlling behaviors – violence or threats of violence – that one person uses to establish power over an intimate partner in order to control that partner’s actions and activities. It is not a disagreement or an anger-management problem; it is abusive, disrespectful, and hurtful behaviors that one intimate partner chooses to use against the other.
If you are a victim of abuse, you are never to blame; it is not your fault. So we’ve compiled a list of some important agencies available to help you, day or night, and some information regarding your rights as a victim.
SHELTERS & AGENCIES (For a complete list, click here.):
The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV): The mission of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) is to create a violence-free world by empowering women and children through the elimination of personal and institutional violence and oppression against all people. FCADV provides leadership, advocacy, education, training, technical assistance, public policy and development, and support to domestic violence center programs. Call: 1-800-500-1119
The Spring of Tampa Bay: The Spring is the Department of Children and Families (DCF) certified Domestic Violence Center for Hillsborough County. They are one of the largest of Florida’s 42 certified domestic violence centers and the first domestic violence agency in the United States to have an accredited on-site school for resident children. Call: (813) 247-SAFE (7233)
Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA): CASA provides safety, empowerment and prevention programs to help domestic violence survivors and stop the generational cycle of violence. They operate a 24-hour crisis hotline and emergency shelter, offer community support groups, provide courtroom advocacy, assist the Child Protective Investigative team and conduct community and corporate training. Call: (727) 895-4912
Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay brings help, hope and healing to people facing serious life challenges or trauma resulting from sexual assault, suicidal thoughts, domestic violence, financial distress or emotional or situational problems. Call: (813) 964-1964
Alpha House of Tampa Bay: Alpha House of Tampa offers homeless pregnant women and mothers with young children safe housing and the tools they need to become self-sufficient and effective, responsible parents. Call: (813) 875-2024 or Intake Case Manager at (813) 875-2024 Ext. 1050
LEGAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES:
The Florida State Courts have a self-help center for Family Law Rules and Forms, and the Florida Administrative Code is now online in a searchable format. In the state of Florida, you have the right to ask your law enforcement agency to file a criminal complaint if one has not already been filed. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an Injunction for Protection from Domestic Violence, which involves completing forms, which you must swear to, that explain to the judge what type of protection you need and who you are afraid of or who is abusing you.
And if you can’t afford it, the fees can be waived and you do not have to have an attorney. There is also help available to assist you in completing the forms.
Are You Safe and Bay Area Legal Services also provide or coordinate no-cost legal help to those suffering domestic abuse, so you have options for legal support in the Tampa area even if you cannot afford an attorney.
Below are some additional legal resources.
- Confidentiality & Privilege Laws
- Florida’s Legal Rights for Victims (English)
- Florida’s Legal Rights for Victims (Spanish)
- Florida’s Legal Rights for Victims (Creole)
- Florida’s Domestic Violence Benchbook 2014
You don’t have to face your legal situation by yourself. Despite how desperate your situation may feel, call the Tampa domestic violence attorneys at Anton Garcia Law at (813) 907-9807 or request a consultation for attorneys dedicated to Representing Your Best Interest.