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Legal Information: Florida

Restraining Orders

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October 6, 2023

What is an injunction against sexual violence? Who qualifies for one?

You may file for an injunction against sexual violence if you are the victim of sexual violence committed by someone with whom you do not have a child in common and who is not a family or household member. If your minor child was a victim of sexual violence, you can file on behalf of your minor child only if s/he still lives at home and you are the parent or legal guardian.1

Sexual violence is defined as any of the following:

However, to be eligible to file a petition for an injunction against sexual violence, one of the following must be true:

  1. you reported the incident of violence to the police or other law enforcement agency and you are cooperating in any criminal proceeding that has come about due to your report to law enforcement; or
  2. the abuser (respondent) was already sentenced to state prison for the sexual violence and either:
    • the respondent completed his/her term of imprisonment; or
    • s/he is going to be released within the next 90 days after you filed the petition.2

If you reported the incident of sexual violence to the police (as mentioned in #1, above), it does not matter if criminal charges based on the incident are ever actually filed or not. Furthermore, if charges are filed, you can still file for an injunction even if the charges are later reduced or dismissed by the prosecutor.3

Note: If you have a child in common with the abuser or if s/he is a family or household member, you would not file for an injunction against sexual violence. Instead, you would have to file for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.4

1 Fla. Stat. § 784.046(1)(c)
2 Fla. Stat. § 784.046(2)(c)
3 Fla. Stat. § 784.046(2)(c)(1)
4 See Petition for injunction against sexual violence - Instructions