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Bartow, Fla. (October 19, 2022) — The Polk County Board of County Commissioners presented the Honorable Stacy M. Butterfield, CPA, Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller, with a Proclamation at Tuesday’s Board meeting declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There were more than 3,900 domestic violence injunctions filed in Polk County in 2021, with 566 being repeat violence cases.

The Proclamation states that injunctions for protection can be filed in person at the Bartow Courthouse. Dedicated domestic violence advocates are available to assist applicants with the process. Additionally, injunction paperwork can be prepared online (PolkCountyClerk.net) using DIY resources and filed through the Florida Court’s E-Filing portal. These online resources are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“As the Proclamation stated, last year, more than 3,900 domestic violence injunction cases were filed in Polk County,” Butterfield said. “This number unfortunately increased by 1,700 cases from the prior year. This isn’t an increase we want to see, so it’s important that we continuously work to increase awareness and take action to help our community.”

According to Peace River Center, one in three women and one in four men in the United States will experience intimate partner violence. One-third of children are exposed to domestic violence at some point during childhood or adolescence. Domestic violence can include physical and sexual violence, threats, emotional abuse and more.

Protective injunctions force abusers, by law, to stop abuse or threats against domestic violence victims, prevent abusers from coming near or contacting victims, and make abusers leave the home or give temporary custody of children to the victim.  Further, the penalty for an abuser that violates an injunction is arrest.

Those in need of protection are urged to contact the Polk County Clerk’s office at (863) 534-4000 for guidance and help processing injunction applications. All citizens are encouraged to help bring domestic violence to an end.

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