domestic violence

The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence is suing two insurers, asking a court to force the companies to cover costs resulting from state lawsuits against the embattled domestic-violence agency because of allegedly “exorbitant” executive compensation.

During lockdown, Kiesha Preston has heard from many people facing physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse that the violence against them is escalating without reprieve.

As Floridians stay home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus some worry about another potential threat—the increased risk of domestic violence.

For weeks, after the spread of the coronavirus began, Gov. Ron DeSantis resisted calls to implement a state-wide stay-at-home order. DeSantis worried about the impact the order would have on domestic violence and abuse across the state. He also worries about the mental health impact the stress related to coronavirus is having on all Floridians.

members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence speaking before a house committee
News Service Of Florida

A circuit judge on Tuesday refused to undo an order putting a receiver in charge of the embattled Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, rejecting a request by the nonprofit organization’s former CEO, Tiffany Carr.

members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence speaking before a house committee
News Service Of Florida

A six-hour grilling by a key House committee Monday revealed that several board members of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence were unaware that the former CEO of the non-profit agency received $7 million in compensation over three years.

House To Take Up Bill On Domestic Violence Agency

Feb 18, 2020

Amid probes into spending by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the House is poised Wednesday to take up a bill that would give flexibility to the Department of Children and Families to contract for services to help victims of domestic violence. 

Governor, House Escalate Inquiry Into Domestic Violence Agency

Feb 14, 2020
Courtroom bench
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida House on Thursday intensified an inquiry into Florida’s domestic violence agency, calling for additional investigations and issuing subpoenas over the former head of the taxpayer-backed organization’s compensation. 

The Defense Department Inspector General found that the military handles domestic violence on base inconsistently, leading to fewer prosecutions and ongoing danger for the people who are abused.

Community Summit Focuses On Women’s Health

Sep 9, 2019
Flickr Creative Commons

There’s a summit next week in Orlando on how women’s health and well-being affect mental health. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and local law enforcement and community service groups are encouraging people to speak out about the problem.

A new report shows that while there has been an overall decline in homicides, both nationally and locally, the rate of domestic violence homicides hasn’t improved.

In the wake of the massacre at a small-town Texas church on Sunday, many people are asking why.

A large portion of the mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years have roots in domestic violence against partners and family members. Depending on how you count, it could be upwards of 50 percent.

October is the Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month, the Florida Department of Children and Families also received a grant to help support domestic violence victims.

Cases of domestic violence in Flagler increased by more than 8 percent last year and two homicides related to domestic violence have occurred since January.

Now, the increase has prompted Sheriff Rick Staly to take action.

New Laws Tackle 'Cyberharassment,' Sex Trafficking

Sep 28, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

It will be illegal to post sexually explicit material without the knowledge of people identified in the images, and criminal penalties will increase to try to help curb sex trafficking, as 27 new Florida laws hit the books Thursday.

Lawmakers Look To Revamp Mental-Health Services

Apr 1, 2015

Legislation aimed at revamping Florida's system of delivering mental-health services is moving in the House and Senate and is gaining momentum.

The House version (HB 7119), which would hold providers to a new set of performance measures and open the bidding on state contracts to for-profit firms, was unanimously approved Tuesday by the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

In the Senate, a comparable measure (SB 7068) will get its second hearing Thursday in the Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee.

The longtime leader of a Tampa Bay-area domestic violence shelter and a devout Christian Scientist is declining to discuss an illness that’s produced a significant growth on her face and has affected her ability to speak or chew, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

AP Photo/Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office

Two weeks before a Florida man fatally shot his daughter and six grandchildren, someone called the state child abuse hotline, worried that adults were doing drugs in front of the kids, according to documents released Monday.

Authorities said 51-year-old Donald Spirit called 911 from his mobile home Thursday warning he might hurt himself or others. By the time a deputy arrived, Spirit had committed suicide. And he had killed 28-year-old Sarah Spirit and her six children, including an infant girl born in June.

New York Times

The death of Michelle O'Connell, a 24-year-old St. Augustine woman found dead of a gunshot wound, seemed suspicious for many reasons: She had complained to her sister that her boyfriend had been abusing her, and she was in the middle of moving out when she died.

Neighbors heard a woman screaming before two shots rang out. Deputies found the boyfriend drunk and in a rage when they arrived. The gun that killed her was his, and she would have had to hold it upside down to kill herself with it. There was no note. And yet her death was ruled a suicide.

A Tampa woman tried to kill herself and her 12-year-old daughter by setting fire to her car in their garage after being beaten by her ex-husband, the Tampa Tribune reports. Neighbors rescued them.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the mother and daughter described the episode as a suicide pact. Both were sent to hospitals for psychiatric examination.  

Orlando Sentinel

A 21-year-old University of Central Florida student is recovering from a violent attack at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, who ran her over with his car in an on-campus parking garage and then beat her until a bystander intervened, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

Emma Morrison was born last year to a mother who had permanently lost custody of her four other children and both of Emma’s parents had a long history of domestic violence, drug abuse, and arrests. Yet child-service workers sent the newborn home with her mother. It did not end well, the Miami Herald reports.

Deaths from domestic violence have risen so sharply that Orange County is bringing back a special panel to look at cracks in the system that might be contributing to the increase.