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In 2013, cops were called to the scene regarding a domestic violence situation between actress Emma Roberts and actor Evan Peters. Cops found one of the pair with a bloody nose and a bite mark. What may come to mind is a male who physically assaulted his female spouse. However, this was not the case. Evan Peters, a 5’11” man, was the victim of domestic violence in this situation. His girlfriend, a 5’ 2” woman, was the attacker. The scenario of a man being physically abusive to a woman is something that many of us may find easier to comprehend—after all, men are expected to be “physically stronger” than women. Regardless, we cannot allow gender stereotypes to dictate how we view situations surrounding domestic violence. It is because of gender stereotypes that domestic violence against men is often overlooked and/or not taken seriously.

Domestic violence is defined as violence committed against a family or household member. In Florida, a family or household member can include spouse, former spouse, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as a family or who have resided together in the past as a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. 

 In Florida, a person in a domestic violence situation—like the situation above—can obtain several types of injunctions, including protection against: domestic violence, repeat violence, and dating violence. For all of these injunctions, the person seeking protection must either be a victim of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe that he or she in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. Some things a court will do when granting an injunction for protection include:

  • Restrain the attacker from committing acts of domestic violence; 
  • If the parties live together, give the victim exclusive use of the home; 
  • If the parties have children, give the victim total timesharing with the child(ren) and establish temporary support for the child(ren); 
  • Order the attacker to participate in treatment or counseling; and
  • Refer the victim to a certified domestic violence center. 

The arrest of Emma Roberts illustrates that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. For free, confidential support from trained advocates, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day. If you have any questions regarding domestic violence injunctions in Florida, do not hesitate to contact a family law attorney for more information.