LE Class #43
Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes
There is no criminal charge of domestic violence in Florida; however, it is a modifier to other criminal charges. According to s. 741.28, F.S., domestic violence is “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” People related by blood or marriage, people who have a child in common, spouses or former spouses are all examples of family or household members. They must currently live together, or in the past have lived together with the exception of parents with a child in common.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or age, among other factors. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some type of physical violence by a family or household member in their lifetime. One in five women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by a family or household member in their lifetime. One in seven women and one in eighteen men have been stalked by a family or household member in their lifetime. Nineteen percent of domestic violence involves a weapon, and domestic violence accounts for fifteen percent of all violent crime.
In Florida, 108, 030 cases of domestic violence were reported in 2013. Crime statistics decreased, although domestic violence remained the same and reports of stalking by a household or family member increased by nineteen percent in 2013....
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... light of the circumstances or situation, and remain vigilant. Although it may seem like a simple matter to an officer, the victim has had a traumatic experience in addition to being victimized based on who they are.
As with all crimes, document the crime the suspect committed and that the victim was an intentional target because of prejudice or discrimination based on certain perceived knowledge about the victim, such as religion, race, or sexual orientation. If an officer is not convinced that the suspect committed the crime because of prejudice, then they should charge the suspect only with that crime.
If there is a hate crime enhancement, an officer should document all information related to the fact the suspect targeted the victim specifically with discrimination in mind. Include the intent of the suspect, by word or deed, to the commission of the crime.
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