DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/RESTRAINING ORDERS

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence includes acts of physical violence, sexual assault, battery, stalking, or any criminal activity resulting in injury or death to a family member or to someone in your household by someone who lives in your home or by someone who used to live in your home. Domestic Violence affects women, men and children.  


Anyone can be a victim and everyone deserves protection.  Victims who have been stalked, physically hurt or threatened with violence have the right to seek a restraining order or injunction.

Where can I report abuse?

IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER,                              CALL 911!


For non-emergency matters you may call:

  • Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE 
  • Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 


Do I need an attorney?

An attorney is not required  to file a petition for a restraining order or injunction to stop domestic violence.  And, the courts offer forms to help you with the process.  But, if you want your temporary restraining order/injunction to become permanent, you will need to prepare for a hearing that occurs typically two (2) weeks after your file your initial paperwork.  


At this hearing, you will need to prove to the court the allegations in your petition.  An experienced attorney can help you through this very emotional and stressful process.  An experienced attorney can gather crucial evidence and prepare witnesses for the hearing allowing you time to focus on staying safe.

Where can I file a restraining order in Broward County, FLorida?

In Broward County, you may file a request for a restraining order in any of the Domestic Violence service locations.  For example, you may file for your request on the second floor of the Central Courthouse or at the West Regional Courthouse.  Monday-Friday from 8:30am-5:00pm.  For more details, please call  954.831.5570 or 954.831.5579.


If it is after hours, you may call WOMEN IN DISTRESS (who also accept men) at 954.761.1133 24hours/day. 

Where can i file a restraining order in Miami-Dade County, FLorida?

 If you are in Miami-Dade County, you may go to any of four (4) Miami-Dade Courthouse locations to request a restraining order or injunction. To fast track the process, the court provides the Domestic Violence Intake Questionnaire online, which you may fill out before arriving. To speak with someone about filing the restraining order, you may contact 305-349-5813 or 305-349-5677,

Can I bring my child to court during my DV hearing?

It is important to shield your child from the legal proceedings.  The judges do not what children emotionally traumatized by hearing details of stalking and/or domestic violence.  But, the courts recognize that parents need help with child care while they seek protection through a restraining order.  Broward and Miami-Dade offer child care services to those attending domestic violence hearings.  

  • Broward: For childcare assistance, please contact 954.831.5570.  The program is run by the YWCA.
  • Miami-Dade: For childcare assistance, please go to the 11th floor of the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse located at  175 NW First Avenue; Miami, Florida 33128.