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Know the Laws: Florida

UPDATED April 12, 2017

Injunctions Against Repeat, Dating, & Sexual Violence

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If you do not qualify for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, you might qualify for one of the three injunctions explained below.

back to topWhat is an injunction against repeat, dating, & sexual violence?

Aside from an injunction for protection against domestic violence, there are three other types of injunctions available in Florida:

1. Injunction Against Repeat Violence. You may file for an injunction against repeat violence against anyone who has committed at least two acts of violence or stalking against you or a member of your immediate family (your child, your parents, or a sister or brother) and one of those two acts of violence has occurred within the last six months.

2. Injunction Against Dating Violence. You may file for an injunction against dating violence if you have been abused or reasonably believe you are in immediate danger of becoming the victim of abuse by someone you have or had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature within the past six months. Dating violence does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who have only socialized in a business or social context.

3. Injunction Against Sexual Violence. You may file for an injunction against sexual violence if you are a victim of sexual violence, as it is defined in the Florida statutes. To be eligible to file a petition for an injunction against sexual violence, you must have reported the incident of violence to the police or other law enforcement agency and be cooperating in any criminal proceeding against the abuser if criminal charges are brought against him/her. There are many different sexual crimes that could qualify you for this injunction, which you can read in our FL Statutes page (look at section (1)(c)).  If you are unsure if your situation would qualify, the law enforcement agency to which you report the incident of violence may help you understand whether an act of sexual violence, as defined in the law, has been committed or you can talk to a lawyer for legal advice.

You also may file any of these petitions on behalf of any minor child (under 18) who is living at home and who is the victim of the violence for which protection is sought.*

The clerk of the circuit court will provide you with forms and instructions for filing any of these petitions. The filing process will be similar to the process described in Steps for getting an injunction for protection against domestic violence. There is no fee to file for the injunction and if you request it, you can be notified within 12 hours of when the sheriff or other law enforcement officer serves the injunction upon the respondent.** 

* Fla. Stat. § 784.046
** Fla. Stat. § 784.046(3)(b) & (5)

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back to topWhat are the penalties for violating an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence?

A person who violates an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence can be committing a misdemeanor of the first degree. A misdemeanor of the first degree may be punishable by up to one year in prison, and/or with a fine of up to $1,000 - however, it can be a felony of the third degree if it is violated three or more times against the same victim.*  

An injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence may be violated if the abuser:

  1. Refuses to vacate the home that the parties share;
  2. Goes to, or is within 500 feet of, the petitioner's residence, school, work, or a specified place frequented regularly by the petitioner and any named member of the family or the home;
  3. Commits an act of repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence against the petitioner;
  4. Commits any other violation of the injunction through an intentional unlawful threat, word, or act to do violence to the petitioner;
  5. Calls, contacts, or communicates with the petitioner directly or indirectly, unless the injunction specifically allows indirect contact through a third party;
  6. Comes within 100 feet of the petitioner's motor vehicle on purpose, whether or not that vehicle is occupied;
  7. Damages or destroys the petitioner's personal property, including the petitioner's motor vehicle; or
  8. Refuses to give up firearms or ammunition if ordered to do so by the court.*

* Fla. Stat. § 784.047

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