October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In 1987 the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conceived Domestic Violence Awareness Month, intended to connect advocates who are working to end family violence. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, “nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner.”

So what is “domestic violence”? It is best described as “a pattern of abusive behaviors-including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion-used by one intimate partner against another to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship.” Domestic violence often leaves physical wounds, but it can also result in invisible scars from verbal abuse, constant humiliation, or relentless intimidation. Two new laws address some of these issues:


On October 1, 2015 new legislation in Florida makes “revenge porn” illegal. The “sexual cyberharassment” bill that takes effect Oct. 1 makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail to transmit nude pictures with identifying information about the subject of the images, without that person’s consent for purposes of “causing substantial emotional distress.” Repeat offenses would be felonies, carrying penalties up to five years in prison.

This law, while addressing an issue that has been legislated in 17 other states, is not as strong as sponsors initially sought, with it requiring the uploaded information to include “personal identification information,” such as the name or other information, of the person depicted.

For more information, see Florida Statute § 784.049

Domestic Violence

An amendment to Florida Statute § 903.047 makes clear that when a judge imposes a “no contact” condition as part of a person’s pretrial release, the order is effective immediately and enforceable for the duration of pretrial release.

The measure, which could help protect domestic-violence victims, also spells out that other than through an attorney, the “no contact” prohibition means contact cannot take place in person, through a telephone, electronically or through a third person.

For more information, see Florida Statute § 903.047

The attorneys of Allen Dell pride themselves on staying abreast of changes in laws affecting our clients. Domestic violence affects women and men regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or zip-code. Keep calm and call us.