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Florida Law:
In order to maintain licensure in the State of Florida, all health professionals must complete a course in domestic violence each licensing cycle. Florida Statutes describe domestic violence and encompass the reporting of child abuse, elderly abuse, and the treatment of violent injuries such as gunshot or stab wounds.
 
Florida Victim "Bill of Rights":
Abused persons may not be aware of their rights to live a safe life. The "Bill of Rights" represents the main areas of protection for women in Florida.
 
1.   You have the right NOT to be emotionally or physically abused by your spouse, i.e. not to be beaten, hit, slapped, punched, kicked, disciplined, etc. (Chapter 784, Florida Statutes)
2.   You do not have the right to psychologically or physically abuse your spouse, i.e., to beat, hit, slap, punch, kick, discipline, etc. (Chapter 784, Florida Statutes)
3.   You have the right to legal protection for yourself and your children, including a protective injunction. (Sections 741.30 and 901.15(6), Florida Statutes)
4.   You have the right NOT to be stalked, harassed or intimidated. (Section 784.048, Florida Statues)
5.   You have the right to seek custody of your children to protect them from abuse, both temporarily and permanently. (Section 741.30, Chapter 61, Florida Statutes)
6.   You have the right of privacy. (Florida Constitution, Art. 1, Section 23)
7.   You have the right to be safe in your own home, work place and community from domestic violence. (Section 741.30, 784.046 and 901.15(6), Florida Statutes)
8.   You have the right to seek prosecution of your abuser. (Section 741.2901, Florida Statutes)
9.   You have the right to say no to unwanted sex. (See Chapter 794 and case law in Florida)
10.   You have the right to seek an equal distribution of property in the event of a divorce. (Section 61.075, Florida Statutes)
11.   You have the right to receive information from a law enforcement agency about local domestic violence centers, restraining orders and injunctions. (Section 741.29, Florida Statutes)
 
Legal Resources:
The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Statewide Hotline, 1 (800) 500-1119, provides legal assistance by telephone to victims of domestic violence in Florida.  If you wish to call, dial the statewide hotline and push the number 3 when prompted to be connected to a law office where staff can assist you.  If you are calling from outside of Florida, it may be necessary to dial directly to 1 (850) 385-0611.

When you call, the representative will inquire about your safety, and will ask for your name, the names of the persons with whom you are having difficulty, and a safe number at which an attorney may call you back.  An attorney will then contact you, the client, and conduct a phone intake, try to answer your legal questions, identify any additional legal issues, and provide you with legal options.  Then, he or she will refer you to legal and domestic violence resources in your county. 

This service has been operated by Florida Legal Services in Tallahassee since March 1998. The Legal Hotline operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
 

Note: Hotline attorneys cannot represent you in court or submit documents for you, but they can refer you to an attorney who can. Hotline attorneys are trained in domestic violence and hotline skills. They work with domestic violence shelters throughout the state and refer callers to their local domestic violence centers.

 

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