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Domestic Violence Month article header

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2019

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Clerk’s Office is partnering with The Spring of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County’s only certified domestic violence center, to raise public awareness about this pressing problem in our community.

Every year, the Clerk’s Office processes about 6,600 applications for domestic violence restraining orders. Sadly, domestic violence does not take a break for the holidays. Our clerks, along with employees of The Spring who have been deputized, process restraining order applications seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Clerk of Court & Comptroller Pat Frank also has deputized employees of The Spring so they can process restraining order applications after hours.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate,” Clerk Frank says. “Anyone can be a victim—rich or poor, black or white, male, female, gay or straight. There is no shame in seeking protection from someone who means you harm, even if that person is a family member.”

Nationally, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be the victim of some kind of domestic violence in their lifetimes. More than 100,000 domestic violence incidents are reported in Florida each year, and many are never reported.

The Spring will hold the 29th Annual Mabel H. Bexley Gift of Peach Lunch October 30, 2019 at the Tampa Convention Center, commemorating decades of serving survivors of domestic violence.

Our Domestic Violence Offices, at the George Edgecomb Courthouse in downtown Tampa and the Plant City Courthouse, are open 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday. The Edgecomb office is also open 7AM to 10AM on weekends and holidays.

We have taken steps every year to improve our procedures. To speed up the process of obtaining a restraining order, our office now delivers applications to judges electronically so that they can quickly be reviewed, signed electronically and processed. Everyone who fills out an application is also given the option to register to view their cases online, avoiding a trip to the courthouse to keep up with the progress of their applications.

Our office also is working on a system that will allow those seeking domestic violence restraining orders to complete them remotely so they will not have to leave their safe location.