Church Massacre Reveals Urgent Need To Take Action on Domestic Violence
We call it domestic violence, but as this Huffington Post article points out, the name might contribute to the problem: “domestic” implies happiness and privacy; not something that should be made public. The article is written about the recent Texas church massacre, however, as many stories about these violent shooters turn out; it started with domestic violence and a serious pattern of abuse at home, and a series of partners who should have been legally protected from this shooter, but who were not.
The shooter—Devin Patrick Kelley—had a history of serious domestic violence; not only violently abusing his partners, but also strangling them (which research has shown is used by men who are much more likely to eventually kill their partners). A year into his marriage, Kelley had strangled and hit his ex-wife, as well as cracked open an infant’s skull. At the time of the shooting, he was reportedly involved in a domestic dispute with his then-wife’s family, and threatening them on a regular basis. And yet, it is unclear whether his victims had obtained an injunction for protection.
Domestic Violence Patterns: It Affects Everyone
With domestic abusers, there are always similar patterns: A strong need for control and the tendency to intensify violence when they feel like they are losing control of their partners. But there are also warning signs that tend to occur before a situation turns violent: convictions for domestic violence, rape, animal cruelty, a history of mental illness, etc.
Many mass shootings these days have some connection to domestic violence: Between 2015 and 2017, almost 60 percent of all mass shootings in the U.S. involved the perpetrator either targeting/killing an intimate partner or family member, or having a history of domestic violence. It affects everyone, and can also involve children getting killed.
Resources for Florida Victims
Unfortunately, there simply aren’t enough resources for victims; especially those who live in rural areas.
However, Florida does have a domestic violence relocation assistance program, which provides assistance to victims who have an immediate need to escape a domestic violence situation. As in many of these situations, working with an experienced attorney to apply for the assistance is extremely helpful due to the application process. Under the law, in order to receive assistance, the following requirements must first be satisfied:
- Proof that domestic violence was committed;
- The offense must be reported to the authorities;
- The victim’s need must be certified by a certified domestic violence center in Florida and the application must assert that the victim is cooperating with law enforcement officials, as well as include documentation regarding a safety plan; and
- Relocation payments are denied if the Florida Attorney General has previously approved or paid out a human trafficking or sexual battery relocation claim to the same victim regarding the same incident.
If you are a victim of domestic violence or,
in fear of being a victim of domestic violence,
please call the FLORIDA DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE AT
Domestic Violence Injunctions: Speak With One of Our Attorneys
Under Florida law, anyone who is the victim of domestic violence or has reasonable cause to believe that they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of domestic violence has standing in the courts to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against said violence.
If you have been the victim of domestic violence in Florida or are concerned that you have been threatened with domestic violence, speak with a member of the experienced legal team at Arwani Law Firm, PLLC right away on how to protect yourself by obtaining an injunction.