The Violence Against Women Act of 2005 contains initiatives
to help children exposed to violence, train health care providers to support
victims of abuse, encourage men to teach the next generation that violence
is wrong, and provide crisis services for victims of rape and sexual
assault. It also continues efforts to improve the law enforcement response
to violence against women and provide supportive services, such as
transitional housing, to women and children forced to leave their homes
because of violence.
Florida Statues§§ 39.901-39.908; Proceedings Relating to Children, Domestic Violence
Florida Statute §741.30 - Domestic Violence
Domestic violence; injunction; powers and duties of court and clerk; petition; notice and hearing; temporary injunction; issuance of injunction; statewide verification system; enforcement
Florida Statute § 741.28 Domestic Violence Defined
"Domestic violence" means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
Florida Statute § 921.0024 Child Witness - Sentencing Multiplier
In the presence of a child who is under 16 years of age who is a family household member.
The total sentence for the offense may be multiplied by a factor of 1.5
Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 65 (See §§ B-5, B-6, C-7 through C-19, and C-24)
Department of Children and Families, Policies and Procedures Index
D.R. v. Department of Children and Family Services, 898 So.2d 254 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2005)
Adjudication of child as dependent was supported by evidence demonstrating a history of physical and verbal altercations between mother and father while child was in the home and that child was aware of multiple verbal altercations between the parents even thought the child never saw the altercations.
D.W.G. v. Department of Children and Families, 833 So. 2d 238 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002)
Dependency adjudication affirmed based on a holding that it is not necessary for a child to witness
violence in order to be harmed by it as children may be affected and aware that the violence is
occurring without actually having to see it occur.
T.R. v. Dept. of Children and Families, 864 So. 2d 1278 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004).
The Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling that evidence supported adjudication
of father's two children as dependents based upon the children being aware of an act of domestic
Y.G. v. Department of Children and Families, 830 So. 2d 212 (Fla. 5th DCA 2002)
The Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the adjudication of dependency, but remanded for entry of
written findings consistent with the trial court's oral announcement. The Fifth District provided
specifically, A[t]he children's health was in danger of being significantly impaired by the acts of
domestic violence that took place in the children's presence and by the mother's refusal to end her
troubled relationship with the paramour.
D.D. v. Department of Children and Families, 773 So. 2d 615 (Fla. 5th DCA 2000)
Father (appellant) appealed trial court order finding his five-year-old child dependent. The court found
that evidence that the child witnessed father's abuse of the mother, together with evidence indicating
that parents will more likely than not resume their relationship in the future and resume the cycle of
domestic violence in the presence of the child, established prospective neglect sufficient to support
finding of dependency, even in absence of medical or other expert testimony.
See: Domestic Violence, Case Law Summary-Civil Cases (December 2005)