General Information

Domestic Violence

The law directs that in order for an act of domestic violence to occur, there must be the fear of harassment, violence, stalking or the fear of imminent danger. Harassment as defined by law, means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such a person and serves no legitimate purpose. A person who conducts a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, such as calling someone's residence or place of employment repeatedly, making threats and generally causing the person to be in fear, may be seen as a reason to seek protection.

There are five types of violence as described by law:
  • Domestic Violence as defined by the statute, means any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another residing in the same single dwelling unit.
  • Repeat Violence can be defined as two incidents, one which has occurred within the last 6 months of assault, battery, sexual battery or stalking upon an unrelated individual.
  • Dating Violence can be defined as violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
  • Sexual violence means any one incident of
    • Sexual battery, as defined in chapter 794.
    • A lewd or lascivious act, as defined in chapter 800, committed upon or in the presence of a person younger than 16 years of age.
    • Luring or enticing a child, as described in chapter 787.
    • Sexual performance by a child, as described in chapter 827 or any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted, regardless of whether criminal charges based on the incident were filed, reduced or dismissed by the state attorney.
  • Stalking violence means
    • Repeated following, harassment or cyberstalking of one person by another.
    • “Cyberstalk” to engage in a course of conduct to communicate words, images or language through use of electronic mail or electronic communication.

If you feel that you are a victim of domestic, repeat violence, or dating violence act and/or law enforcement has not made an arrest, we encourage you to visit our office to start the civil restraining order process. You may obtain assistance in filing for an Injunction for Protection by appearing in person at the Charlotte County Justice Center

Justice Center
Civil Division
350 E. Marion Avenue
Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Please arrive early, it could take up to 45 minutes to complete all required forms.

Our office works hand-in-hand with the C.A.R.E. Crisis Center. After hours, on weekends or holidays call the Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies at (941) 637-6000

Contact Information