Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Domestic Violence / October Was Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October Was Domestic Violence Awareness Month


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States, and in 2023, the statistics for domestic abuse have sadly been elevated. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Central Florida reports around 3,500 domestic abuse calls placed to them, with roughly 95 percent of them resulting in an arrest. Shelters have reported higher numbers of calls for services, with a variety of reasons behind the trend.

More Calls, Less Reporting

Domestic violence crimes are routinely underreported, most often out of fear or a lack of resources. Abuse victims very often lack the financial resources to hire an attorney or find alternate accommodations, and if they do have those resources, they may be in too much fear of their abuser to make a break for freedom. A successful call to law enforcement or a domestic violence shelter may eventually involve the Department of Children and Families, or having to go through a criminal proceeding, and many victims find themselves unable to manage.

Despite relatively low reporting numbers, shelters are receiving more calls than usual. The Harbor House of Central Florida reports approximately 10,000 calls received as of October 6, 2023, which is hundreds more than in October 2022. It is generally easier for alleged victims to obtain shelter services than to go to law enforcement for aid, but neither is easy. If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence, know that your alleged victim had to affirmatively seek help over a prolonged period of time.

Jail Time Is Possible

Another reason for domestic violence offenses being underreported is that many people may simply not be aware when they are either victimizing or being victimized. Not every domestic violence offense is a loud, violent dispute; sometimes mere pushing and shoving or grabbing may result in a police report. However, if you are charged with this type of offense, it is crucial to take it seriously. Depending on the nature of your alleged crime, you may face felony charges.

It is important to keep in mind that while Florida law imposes a minimum ten-day jail sentence for anyone convicted of a domestic violence offense, this does not mean that a far more severe sentence cannot be imposed for the underlying offense. For example, a person convicted of kidnapping as a crime of domestic violence would be sentenced to ten days in jail plus whichever sentence a judge or jury would hand down for the offense of kidnapping (which can be up to 30 years in jail if tried as a first-degree felony).

Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

One obviously hopes never to be involved in a crime of domestic violence, but if you have been charged with this kind of offense, it must be taken seriously. A West Palm Beach criminal attorney can help to protect your rights and put your case in the right perspective with the court. Call our office today at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn