The Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers shine light on domestic violence awareness to get the word out that the local Clerks’ offices in all 67 counties provide assistance to domestic violence victims year-round.
The Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers today shined light on domestic violence awareness month at a statewide press event in Tallahassee to get the word out that the local Clerks’ offices in all 67 counties provide assistance to domestic violence victims year-round.
“In America today, one in four women and one in seven men suffer physical violence at the hands of a loved one,” said St. Lucie County Clerk Joe Smith, president of the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers. “When applied to the State of Florida, these statistics are staggering and show what a tremendous impact domestic violence has on our local communities.”
Many think of the Clerks offices as the provider for checks and balances in county government, where Florida’s Court Clerks and Comptrollers perform duties as the record keepers or internal auditor of county funds; however, the Clerks’ roles go far above and beyond that.
Florida’s Court Clerks are committed to assisting domestic violence victims throughout the entire process of filing reports and connecting victims with advocacy programs. Florida’s Court Clerks are sensitive to the needs of domestic violence survivors and take confidentiality and discretion very seriously. And, the Court Clerks work very closely with the local sheriff’s offices, ensuring both safety and justice are achieved for victims and their families.
“During the month of October, Florida’s Court Clerks encourage residents across the state to not remain silent upon experiencing, witnessing or hearing about an incident of domestic violence,” said Clerk Smith. “We urge victims to use our offices as a resource and visit MyFloridaClerks.com to learn more on how their local Clerk’s office can help year-round.”
“This is a real problem and to some extent an invisible problem in our community and one that we want to shine a light on,” said Leon County Clerk & Comptroller Bob Inzer. “Last year alone, we had over 1,300 citizens come to the Leon County Clerk’s Office to file for relief from domestic violence. I think I can speak for not only our office but the judiciary and the sheriff in saying that we are committed to providing victims of domestic violence as much protection as provided by law and to ensure that there is no delay in addressing their needs or their safety.”
“Domestic violence is a crime that has a devastating effect on our communities, our neighborhoods and in our homes,” said Tiffany Carr, president & CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “The work to end domestic violence takes all of us supporting survivors and their children, and holding perpetrators of violence accountable. The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence commends the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers for standing up and speaking out about domestic violence. The more awareness and education about domestic violence – the more lives will be saved.”
“The life-saving partnership between Refuge House and the Leon County Clerk of Court’s Office began in 1992, over 20 years ago,” said Emily Mitchem, assistant director of Refuge House, whose domestic violence center serves Leon County and the surrounding seven counties of the Big Bend. “Because of the support of the Clerk of Court, victims of domestic violence can meet with a specially trained Refuge House counsellor, right in the Leon County Courthouse, for assistance in safety planning, information about the injunction process and access to comprehensive domestic violence services. Under Bob Inzer’s leadership, we work as a coordinated team on behalf of victim safety and access to justice.”
Also in attendance for the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers were Wakulla County Clerk Brent Thurmond, Liberty County Clerk Kathy Brown, Calhoun County Clerk Carla Hand and Indian River County Clerk Jeffrey Smith.
For more information on the Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers and its Domestic Violence Awareness Initiative, please visit MyFloridaClerks.com.
The Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers, established in 1969, is a statewide, non-profit member association. The association is comprised of the Florida Clerks of the Circuit Court and Comptrollers. The association provides education and accreditation for Clerks of the Court and Comptrollers, information and technical assistance to local governments.