Domestic violence is a sad part of the breakup process for far too many couples. The term is defined in the Florida statutes as, "...any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member." The most common instances involve one person hitting the other, choking the other or blocking the other from leaving a room or a house.
You don't have to be married to be considered family or household members. The statute includes in the definition "spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit."
If you meet these requirements, you can file for a domestic violence injunction. A domestic violence injunction is a court order that subjects the other person to criminal charges if that person comes around you or contacts you while the injunction is in effect.
Bottom line: Don't take chances with your safety. In an emergency, call 911. If you have questions, call an expert Tampa divorce lawyer to discuss whether your situation qualifies as one where you can get a domestic violence injunction.