In Florida, domestic violence remains a top concern, especially when there are children involved. When disputes escalate within families, they can lead to physical or emotional harm.
The Florida Department of Children and Families reported that there were over 106,000 reports of domestic abuse in 2020. When these reports happen, Florida police become involved and might charge individuals with domestic violence.
When police will file charges
In Florida, domestic violence encompasses more than just physical harm. It includes assault, battery, sexual abuse, stalking, kidnapping and any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to a family member by another family member. If parents engage in these behaviors, either against their children or other family members, they can face domestic violence charges.
Here are some reasons that the police may charge parents with domestic violence.
- Physical harm to children: If a parent inflicts physical harm, abuse or neglect upon their child, it can lead to domestic violence charges. This refers to visible injuries and situations where a child faces potential harm due to a parent’s actions.
- Violence between co-parents: If one parent physically harms or threatens the other parent, the police can charge the offending party with domestic violence. This applies even if the child is not directly involved, as witnessing such violence can be traumatizing for them.
- Abuse to other family members: Domestic violence charges are not restricted to harm against a co-parent or child. If a parent harms another family member, like a grandparent or sibling, within the household, they can face charges.
Furthermore, if a parent consistently threatens, harasses or intimidates another family member, it can warrant domestic violence charges, as it creates a hostile living environment.
Implications of charges
Facing domestic violence charges can have far-reaching consequences for parents. Apart from potential jail time, fines or probation, parents may lose custody or visitation rights to their children. They might also have to attend mandatory counseling or rehabilitation programs.
Additionally, a domestic violence charge can impact other aspects of life, including employment prospects, housing applications and personal relationships.
If you believe you or someone you know is at risk of domestic violence, it is important to understand the state’s stance on domestic violence and what protections you have. Protecting family members, especially children, remains a top priority in the state of Florida.