If you've been abused by your partner, or are afraid of your partner's intimidating behavior, the following information can help. Always remember that you have the right to feel safe in your relationship. You are not alone. There are several agencies that can help.
- Direct services for battered persons
- Education and employment
- Financial aid and other services
- Health services
- Legal services and information
- Ready to leave? (Checklist for what to take)
- Stay safe during an explosive incident
- Stay safe when preparing to leave
- Stay safe on the job and in public
- Stay safe with an injunction for protection (restraining order)
- Stay safe in your home
- Your safety and emotional health
- Domestic Violence Support Groups
Family Counseling Center
Circles of Care - 24-hour information line
Help Line (24 hrs)
242-3110 or 449-1144
Direct services for battered persons
Florida Domestic Violence Hotline
Florida Abuse Hotline
Salvation Army (shelter/hotline)
Serene Harbor (shelter/hotline)
Women's Center (Information, counseling, advocacy and legal representation for injunctions)
242-3110 or 449-1144
Education and employment
Florida Job Service
North Brevard: 383-2735
Central Brevard: 690-3220
South Brevard: 984-4831
WENDI Program - Brevard Community College
632-1111, ext 6-5516
Women's Center WOW
Financial aid and other services
Brevard County Family & Children Services
(Emergency assistance with rent & utilities)
Child Care Association
North Brevard: 383-5210
Central Brevard: 690-3710
South Brevard: 984-4710
Seniors (over age 60): 726-2800
North Brevard: 269-6555
Central Brevard: 631-0306
South Brevard: 727-8581
Child Support Enforcement
Wuesthoff Community Wellness Clinic
Legal services and information
Lawyer referral service
Clerk of Court offices
Women's Center (for assistance with injunctions)
242-3110 or 449-1144
Ready to leave?
Here's a checklist of things you need to take when you leave?
- Driver's license, car title, and registration
- Children's birth certificates
- Your birth and marriage certificates
- Money, credit cards, ATM card, telephone card
- Injunction order
- Lease, rental agreement, house deed
- Checkbooks, bank books, and withdrawal slips
- Health insurance or medical card
- Insurance papers
- House and car keys
- Medications or prescriptions
- Small objects you can sell
- Address book
- Medical records for all family members
- Social security card for self and children
- Welfare identification
- School records
- Work permits
- Green card/immigration papers
- Passport(s), for yourself and children
- Divorce papers, including custody order
- Pets, if you can. (Call Central Brevard Humane Society at 259-3400 for possible assistance.)
- Children's small toys
- Other __________________________________________________
Stay safe during an explosive incident
- If an argument seems unavoidable, try to have it in a room or area with an exit and not in the bathroom, kitchen, or anywhere near dangerous instruments or weapons.
- Practice how to get out of your home safely. Identify which windows, elevator, or stairs would be best.
- Have a packed bag ready and keep in a secret, but accessible place so you can leave quickly.
- Identify a neighbor you can tell about the violence and ask to call the police if a disturbance is heard coming from your home.
- Devise a code word to use with your children, family, friends, and neighbors when you need the police.
- Decide and plan where you'll go if you leave home (even if you don't think you'ill need to).
- If the situation is very dangerous, use your own instincts and judgments to keep yourself safe. Call the police as soon as it is safe to do so.
Stay safe when preparing to leave
- Determine who will let you stay with them or lend you some money.
- Always try to take your children with you or make arrangements to leave them with someone safe.
- Leave money, extra keys, and copies of important documents and clothes with someone you trust.
- Open a savings account in your own name to establish and increase your financial independence.
- Keep phone numbers for shelters close by and keep change or a calling card with you at all times.
- Review your safety plan with a domestic violence advocate to plan the safest way to leave your abuser.
Stay safe on the job and in public
- At work, decide whom you'll tell about your situation. This should include office or building security (provide a picture of your abuser if possible).
- Arrange to have someone screen your telephone calls if possible.
- Devise a safety plan for when you leave work. Have someone escort you to your car, bus, or train. Use a variety of routes to go home if possible. Think about what you would do if something happened while going home.
Stay safe with an injunction for protection (restraining order)
- If you are being physically or sexually abused or threatened, there are laws to protect you. Under Florida Statutes 741.30 and 784.146, you have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence. This petition tells the judge what physical or sexual violence you have suffered and exactly what protection you need.
- Seek legal help in filing an injunction for protection.
- Go to the Clerk of Court's office in the most convenient county courthouse. Bring identification and any papers related to your case.
- You can file a petition even if you cannot afford to pay the court fees. Tell the Clerk that you cannot afford the $50 fee and you will be asked to provide some information for a waiver petition.
- Keep your copy of the injunction with you at all times. Leave extra copies at work, with a friend, in your car, etc.
- Call the police if your partner violates the terms of the injunctions.
- Think of alternative ways to keep safe if the police do not respond right away.
- Inform family, friends, and neighbors that you have an injunction order in effect.
- Try to avoid places where your abuser might go.
Stay safe in your home
- Inform your neighbors and landlord that your partner no longer lives with you and that they should call the police if they see your abuser near your home.
- Rehearse the safety plan with your children for when you're not with them.
- Inform your children's school or day care about who has permission to pick up your children. (Give a copy of the injunction to school authorities.)
- Change/add locks on your doors and windows as soon as possible.
- Change your telephone number.
Your safety and emotional health
- If you're thinking of returning to a potentially abusive situation, discuss an alternative plan with someone you trust.
- If you have to communicate with your partner, determine the safest way.
- Have positive thoughts about yourself and be assertive with others about your needs.
- Join a support group. Plan to attend for at least two weeks to gain support from others and learn more about yourself and the relationship.
- Decide whom you can call freely and openly to give you the support you need.
- Read articles, books, and poetry to help you feel stronger.
- Take care of yourself through regular exercise. Yoga, Tai Chi, etc. have proven to help heal the mind, body, and spirit.