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Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence UnitThe Domestic Violence Unit is an element within the Investigation Division's Criminal Investigations Section. The Domestic Violence Unit investigates all crimes, misdemeanors and felonies, involving a family or household member committed by another family or household member (past or present). This also includes any persons who are parents of a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married or resided together.

Domestic Violence Information

Click Here to Download the Victim Rights Brochure (English, Spanish & Creole)

Domestic violence is a crime. Domestic violence is about power, control, domination and fear. When one person exhibits a pattern of attempting to gain power and control over someone with whom he or she has or had a relationship, this person is committing domestic violence. An abuser might try to gain control through physical violence, sexual violence, threats, emotional abuse, financial control, legal status, harassment, or stalking.

Domestic Violence can happen to anyone, regardless of social, economic, ethnic or educational background.

There is a law to protect you!
The law protects you if you are being abused or threatened by:
  • your spouse or partner
  • former spouse or former partner
  • another family member
  • a person with whom you have a child in common

You don’t need to be married to the abuser or related to be protected under the law. You must share or have shared a residence with the abuser.

What does the law say?
IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, contact your local Law Enforcement Agency by dialing 911 immediately. Making a report with the police begins a process that can protect you. You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an injunction for protection from domestic violence, also known as a stay-away order, a restraining order or a protection order. See below for more information regarding Injunctions.

Can this law help?
Yes! If this individual has abused you physically or sexually, or if you have good reason to fear that this person is about to be violent towards you, this special law in Florida enables you to get a judge to ORDER the abuse to STOP.

Injunction For Protection Against Domestic Violence
How can I obtain an injunction?

The paper that starts this process is called a Petition for Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence. You can get this by going to:

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 N.W. 1 Avenue, Miami, Florida
(305) 349-5888

North Dade Justice Center
15555 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida
(305) 354-8736

South Dade Government Center
10710 S.W. 211th Street, Room 103, Miami, Florida
(305) 252-5807

The petition explains to the judge exactly what protection you need and from whom. If you have left your home to avoid being abused, you can still file a petition.

You may request that your new address be kept confidential. Call (305) 349-5888 for 24-hour information.

What can the judge do for me?
After you file your petition, the judge can sign one of the following.

  • Temporary Injunction. The Injunction, or order, will tell the abuser that he or she must not be violent towards you. A Temporary Injunction can be obtained on the same day you file your Petition, without a hearing and without the abuser knowing first.
  • Permanent Injunction, which can go into effect after the Temporary Injunction. This injunction is usually permanent and in effect until cancelled by the court. The judge must hold a hearing before signing the Permanent Injunction.
In order for the temporary order to be in effect for a longer period of time, that is, until the permanent order is served, the victim needs to keep going to the hearing until the person is actually served.  The court does not automatically renew the injunction until the person is located.

What does the injunction do?
An Injunction for Protection may:
  • restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse
  • direct the abuser to leave your household
  • prevent the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place of employment
  • award you temporary custody of your minor child or children
  • direct the abuser to pay support to you and the minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so
  • order that the abuser attend counseling
The judge can order other kinds of assistance, depending upon the circumstances. This is why the contents of the Petition and YOUR ATTENDANCE AT ALL HEARINGS IS SO IMPORTANT – so that you can tell the judge what you need and why you need it.

What happens if an arrest is made?
When an arrest is made:
  • You will be notified by the Police Department or the State Attorney’s Office if possible;
  • The defendant may have to appear before a judge within 24 hours.
  • At this initial hearing the judge will decide the conditions of release or the amount of bond, if any.

Remember, you have a right to appear at these hearings.
Bond hearings and jail arraignments are held at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center, 175 N.W. 1st Avenue
Phone: (305) 349-5830.

To find out when a hearing will take place call:
Defendant Information (Dade County Jail) at (305) 545-4004

What if the abuser or threats happen again?
A person who refuses to follow a judge’s order may be put in jail. If the abuser disobeys the judge’s order, and the abuser or threats happen again, contact the police and show them the certified copy of the Injunction for Protection. In some cases the officer may arrest the abuser. Also, you can ask the judge to hold the abuser responsible for not following the judge’s order.

Victim Hotlines

  • Emergency Call 911
  • 24 - Hour Domestic Violence Hotline (305) 285-5900
  • Miami Police Victim Advocate Service (305) 603-6290
  • Miami Police Domestic Violence Unit (305) 603-6645
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233
  • CVAC (305) 285-5900
  • Bureau of Victim Compensation (800) 226-6667
  • Switchboard of Miami (305) 358-HELP (4357)
  • Rape Treatment Center (305) 585-RAPE (7273)
  • Child, Elderly and Disabled Abuse (800) 96-ABUSE (22873)
    This hotline enables you to report abuse directly to Florida's Department of Children and Family Services. If you have knowledge of, or believe such abuse is taking place, you must, by law, report it to DCF. It also is advisable to call the police.
Domestic Violence
  • Safespace North (305) 758-2546
  • Safespace South (305) 245-5011
  • Women in Distress (954) 760-9800
  • The Lodge (305) 693-1170
  • Lotus House (305) 438-0556
Women‘s shelter
  • Madre Teresa (305) 326-0032
  • Miami Rescue Mission (305) 571-2250
  • Salvation Army (305) 637-6720
  • Lotus House (305) 438-0556

Men’s Shelter

  • Miami Rescue Mission (305) 571-2250
  • Salvation Army (305) 637-6720
  • Lotus House (305) 438-0556
  • Camillus House (305) 374-1065 ext. 414 or 428
  • Legal Aid Society
    123 NW 1st Ave. Miami
    (305) 579-5733
  • Legal Services of Greater Miami
    10720 Caribbean Blvd., Suite 400 Cutler Ridge
    (305) 576-0080
  • Job for Miami Training Academy & Workforce
    7900 NE 2nd Ave 6th Floor
    (305) 759-6511
Your Case Information
Police Department: Miami Police Department
Phone: Domestic Violence Unit (305) 603-6645
Victim Advocate Service (305) 603 - 6290
Officer’s name
Date of offense
Case Number