The 20th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, aware that many victims of domestic violence struggle to come forward, struggle to remain participatory, and are often fearful of the criminal justice system, has committed to providing assistant state attorneys with the understanding and training necessary to handle such challenging cases. The Office has established a close working relationship with various agencies to assist victims of domestic violence as those victims struggle with the day to day challenges of such violence.
In Lee County, for the past 15+ years, the office has worked closely with the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center (ACT). Their offices are located on the 7th floor of the SunTrust Building, within our felony division of the office. Currently, there are four advocates, one of whom is bilingual in Spanish. Their number is 533-1080.
In Collier County, our office works with two agencies. The Shelter for Abused Women and Children and Project Help. The number for The Shelter and Project Help is our Collier office number, 239-252-8470.
In Charlotte County, the Center for Abused and Rape Emergencies (CARE) is housed within our Charlotte office, and has one advocate working with the victims of domestic violence. Just dial our office number 941-637-2104.
In our Hendry and Glades offices we have one ACT advocate. She works part-time, and is housed in our LaBelle offices. The number for the ACT advocate in LaBelle is 863-612-4920
Hotlines and Shelters
To file a petition for Injunction for Protection please visit the Domestic Violence Division in your County of residence between 8:30am and 3:00pm.
IF YOU ARE A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM
- Call the police in an emergency or file a report about the violence.
- Call the domestic violence hotline in your county to talk, get information or ideas, find a shelter or make a safety or escape plan.
- Seek an Injunction. An Injunction for Protection is a court order entered by a judge directing the respondent to refrain from any “…assault, aggravated assault, 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 who is/was residing in the same single dwelling unit”. (F.S., Section 741.28) .
In an injunction, the court can order:
- The respondent to have no direct or indirect contact with the petitioner.
- The respondent to stay 500 feet away from the petitioner’s home, school and place of employment.
- The respondent to turn over to law enforcement all firearms.
- The respondent to be evaluated and continue treatment for health concerns, substance abuse, anger management or batterer’s intervention program.
- Temporary custody, visitation and support.
Gather any evidence you may need for your Injunction hearing. Bring a timeline of the abuse, including dates, place and witnesses. Also bring photographs, documentation of injuries, medical and/or police reports.
- See your physician for injuries and consider having your doctor document the incident that caused the injuries.
- Talk to a friend, family member, neighbor or someone you know and trust. Ask for help.
Should the defendant successfully complete the terms of his/her agreement with the State Attorney’s Office, the charges will not be further pursued. However, if the defendant violates the agreement, we will proceed with criminal prosecution.
Further information concerning domestic violence is available from the State Attorney’s Office, or by contacting the agencies listed at the beginning of this section.