SEXUAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE RESOURCE CENTER
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGISLATION PASSES
Representative Kathy Chinoy, in her first House session
introduced comprehensive legislation on domestic violence that
was unanimously passed by the House and Senate. The bill was
drafted by Representative Chinoy with input from Hubbard House,
the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Chief Assistant
State Attorney John Delaney and Cathy Elilonius, Victim Advocate.
The bill has been signed by the governor and will go into effect
January 1, 1992.
The legislation redefines domestic violence to include: "any
assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, or criminal
offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or
household member by another, who is or was residing in the same
single dwelling unit or criminal sexual assault by a person
against the person's spouse."
The legislation redefines family or household member as "spouse,
former spouse, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who
are residing together, as if a family, or who have resided
together in the past, as if a family, and persons who have a
child in common regardless of whether they have been married or
have resided together at any time."
It provides for obtaining Injunctions for Protection Against
Domestic Violence on an emergency basis evenings, weekends and
holidays. It also provides for standardized statewide reporting
of domestic crimes, separate of all other crimes, for inclusion
in the Department of Law Enforcement's Crime in Florida Annual
With the passage of this bill, the legislature is reminding the
criminal justice system that domestic violence is a crime not a
It is unusual for a freshman legislator to achieve passage of a
bill of this magnitude and it has not gone unnoticed by her peers
and constituents. Representative Chinoy brings new stature to
the Duval Delegation.
P.O. Box 23769 Suite 93 Galnesvllle, FL 32602-3769 904/377-1083
What is R.O.A.P. ?7
Since 1989, the Eighth Judicial Circuit has had a Domestic Violence Task Force working to
develop a continuum of services for victims of domestic violence through coordinated
efforts from the programs/agencies involved. With the revision of the domestic violence law
in 1991 and every year since 1994 including specific changes in the process for obtaining
restraining orders, it was noted that there needed to be more assistance/information to
petitioners in the process for obtaining an order for protection against domestic violence
or repeat violence. The problem of no-shows and/or requests to drop the temporary order
were causing a problem within the Court and the Court felt that if more counseling,
information and support were available for these victims, everyone could be better served
and the process be more efficiently run.
R.O.A.P. stands for Restraining Order Assistance Program. The purpose of R.O.A.P. is to
develop a system of assistance for individuals who petition the court for temporary and
permanent injunctions against domestic violence. Its purpose is to integrate advocacy, the
service of the clerk of the court, the judicial system and law enforcement, so that the
petitioner is familiar with the process of obtaining and receiving a protective injunction and
services available. Through the coordination of the systems, R.O.A.P. will attempt to reduce
the risk of repeat violence and possible death for victims of domestic violence.
The Restraining Order Assistance Program enhances SPARC's existing services to Alachua,
Bradford and Union counties. R.O.A.P. provides counselors and volunteer staff to assist in
the requests for restraining orders and are available at the time of the permanent hearing
to inform the petitioner of the process and decision of the court.
The R.O.A.P. has provided services to Alachua and Bradford county for the past two years
and Union county for one year through funding from a state V.O.C.A. (Victims of Crime Act)
grant. Paid and volunteer provide services to these counties. Alachua county staff is
available three days a week to help petitioners when they arrive to file for a restraining
order and staff is present at all civil domestic violence hearings for the three county area.
In addition, the staff has been seen as a resource to the Judiciary and court personnel in
regards to domestic violence. The R.O.A.P. has a continuing goal to work on our agency
mission to help victims of domestic violence and end the cycle of violence through a
positive advocacy role in the Court.