The Tampa Bay Times reported today on the staggering rise in the number of Domestic Violence related homicides in the Tampa Bay area. “Only six months into the year, Pinellas County already has logged seven domestic violence related homicide cases – one more than in all of 2011.” The article went on to state that of the seven cases, five of those cases were murder-suicides and that two of the couples were going through a divorce.
These type of headlines send a chill up the spine of a family law practitioner. It is important for one who either has been a victim of domestic violence or one who has fear of becoming a victim to make it known to the authorities first and foremost, as well as to family and friends. If you are already in the process of a divorce or paternity action, it is essential to inform your attorney of any violent incidents during your relationship. Florida Statute § 741.30 provides a mechanism for a person to receive an Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence. Even if you are not in the middle of legal proceedings, an attorney can represent you in seeking such a petition in an effort to ensure your safety. Clearly, the law can only go so far to protect citizens from these horrific acts of violence. However, for your own safety and your family’s, make sure you do all that you can to protect yourself.