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First Report of the Governor's Task Force on Domestic Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
155 pages
This report of Florida's Governor's Task Force on Domestic Violence assesses the problems of domestic violence in the State and offers recommendations for the State's response to these problems.
The first chapter describes those affected by family violence. It notes that 50 to 70 percent of the men who abuse their spouses or partners also abuse their children, and child witnesses to domestic violence suffer as much as if they themselves had suffered direct physical violence. This chapter also advises that too few of community and State programs are sufficiently structured or equipped to help battered women in general and minority or non-mainstream battered women in particular. Chapter 2 takes a comprehensive look at the battered woman's health care needs and the extent to which they are being addressed in Florida. The task force surveyed over 2,700 physicians, nurses, psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers regarding their education and training on domestic violence; only a third of those responding had received formal education on domestic violence. The task force recommendations for health care professionals accent greater training and education as well as the need for these professionals to be part of an integrated community response to domestic violence. Chapter 3 calls for the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services to fulfill its statutory mandates to administer the domestic violence program and recommends that the Florida Legislature fund and support the domestic violence centers in Florida. The fourth chapter describes law enforcement, the court system and judges, State attorneys, defense counsel, and batterer's treatment programs in the context of domestic violence crimes and their consequences. The concluding chapter describes a public awareness campaign on domestic violence to be conducted statewide and in all communities. Appended task force recommendations, survey instruments, and other supplementary information