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Gail Wadsworth: Florida’s Court Clerks Spotlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month

| October 13, 2015

florida domestic violence awareness month

Florida reported 106,000 cases of domestic violence last year.

By Gail Wadsworth

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. The Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers appreciate this opportunity to ensure everyone is aware their county Clerk’s office is accessible as a local resource to community members who are both directly and indirectly affected by domestic violence year-round.


According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were more than 106,000 cases of domestic violence reported in Florida last year. Alarming as that is, the numbers only increase when factoring in the countless incidents of domestic violence that go unreported by victims.

In order to eradicate this senseless violence, we must hold ourselves accountable to take action within Flagler County in hopes of improving these statistics. We need to forego the “comfort zone” and the “it’s none of my business” mindset, and, instead, commit to never remaining silent upon experiencing, witnessing or hearing about incidents of domestic violence.

It is important that we remain vigilant in serving as advocates and support systems for victims, while we continue working to put an end to domestic violence at home. Florida’s Court Clerks strive to be a dependable resource to victims and witnesses, and are keenly sensitive to the needs of domestic violence survivors. We approach these cases with the seriousness and urgency they deserve and are committed to assisting victims, with complete confidentiality and discretion, throughout the entire process of filing reports and connecting victims with advocates.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please contact your local Clerk’s office, the Family Life Center 24 hour Hotline (386) 437-3505, or the statewide Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119, both have trained advocates available 24/7.

Domestic violence affects all Floridians and the Florida Court Clerks are determined to protect community members and lend a helping hand for those in need of domestic violence assistance. We work very closely with local law enforcement and the Family Life Center to ensure that both safety and justice are achieved for victims and their families when a domestic violence incident occurs.

Especially during this month, help us to raise awareness, educate the public and spread the message that domestic violence is never justified. Visit FLClerks.com for contact information for all of Florida’s 67 Clerks’ Offices and for more details on how your local Clerk can help!

Gail Wadsworth is the Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller in Flagler County.

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7 Responses for “Gail Wadsworth: Florida’s Court Clerks Spotlight Domestic Violence Awareness Month”

  1. GEEZER says:

    Domestic violence and many forms of abuse abound.
    Most of the time the more flagrant instances occur at
    home, out of the public view.

    Clues of abuse and neglect seen in public:

    -Violent threats directed at a child (“I’ll break your face.”)
    -Profanity directed at a child (Use of the “F” word)
    -Violent handling of a child
    -Children with unkempt appearance
    -Shoeless kids walking on hot asphalt
    -Cigarette smoking with children in the car
    -Drunken behaviors witnessed by kids
    -Little kids roaming the streets
    -Bullies acting out (sign of abuse at home)
    -Kids who “fall” a lot
    -Early sexualized children

    The clues are all there – call FCSO or DCF anonymously if you fear retaliation.
    FCSO is a better 1st option.

    At the Winn Dixie Parking lot (Flagler Beach) I overheard a woman screaming at her
    9-year old daughter (8 or 9) that she was going to “kick the shit out of her when
    they got home.”

    I took down the license tag, and told her that I was calling DCF.
    The woman used every profanity she could unload.
    She could have made a trucker blush.

    This stuff is everywhere and we should not “mind our business.”
    This is everyone’s business.

    Same for spousal abuse and elder abuse. Don’t ignore these things.
    Be a good citizen.

  2. YankeeExPat says:

    Let’s ask Kim Carney, (Flagler Beach city commissioner) to explain to her constituents about her disdain for the victim’s Advocate system in Flagler County.

  3. Lin says:

    Thanks for the spotlight on this
    Sorry it is necessary
    Most cases do not even get reported

  4. Algernon says:

    Please support the Family Life Center in Flagler County. They provide shelter, daily, for victims of family violence, and the vicitims come from all walks of life, rich, poor, and in between.

    To learn more, seek shelter, or make a donation, look here: http://www.familylifecenterflagler.org/

  5. graspingforair says:

    Thanks, GEEZER.
    I really don’t believe that we as a world population will EVER eliminate this problem, but we can help many many more than are currently being helped by following your examples. How to report and how to observe is very important. Don’t be a busy-body nosing around your neighbor’s private lives, but DON’T close your eyes to suspicious activities or behavior either! And keep in mind that everywhere in this country there are people waiting at phones or computers who will keep your identity safe and secure.
    It’s not fair that people can’t live a life free of abuse. But some of those people are suffering because they would rather continue that pattern rather than chance a more violent situation because they reported someone.
    Michael Jackson’s sister, La Toya, wrote a book about her 10 year existence with her manager/husband and it is the EPITOME of abuse! Classic!
    When you feel the need for help, please, contact someone! So many people are out here waiting and willing to help.
    You are not alone!

  6. Geezer says:

    “Please support the Family Life Center in Flagler County.”

    Some years back, the director of Family Life Center (Flagler)
    Diana Kindt made the FLC her own ATM and Bed and Breakfast.

    http://www.palmcoastobserver.com/article/former-flc-director-arrested-fraud

    Kindt hired her own sister – then housed her. (because she could)
    Ms. Kindt housed “sis” in a unit specifically reserved for an abuse victim
    (mother) and children. She mortgaged the FLC owned-building, and sold
    off a donated car for her personal gain. That woman had a huge set of BA**S.

    Today the center is in capable hands. They’re still paying off the debts
    incurred during Kindt’s tenure.

    Why the hell does Family Life Center need to depend on donations?
    Why wasn’t this organization been bailed out?
    Why is something so vital to the community, given such low priority???

    It’s a dirty little secret what goes on in Flagler County, same as in Putnam.
    You’d be floored if you knew how much incest occurs in the county!
    Old people kept in utility trailers while the children cash their Social Security
    checks. There was a case where a utility trailer had a power cord going into it.
    A DCF worker discovered this after many concerned phone calls.

    Tax money is earmarked for pretty shrubbery in Palm Coast. Unnecessary
    building projects and other bullshit trump abused people’s needs.
    Is this what Palm Coasters want?

    Even the animal shelter needs donations, as it is also an afterthought….
    Ass-backwards if you ask me….

    ABUSE IS A DIRTY LITTLE SECRET WITHIN THE STERILE, COOKIE-CUTTER
    COMMUNITIES OF PALM COAST. IT’S BAD FOR HOME SALES.
    Shhhh, it’s a secret. Palm Coast has many secrets.

    Keep planting pretty trees!

  7. Trish Giaccone says:

    Geezer, I appreciate your comments about the center being in capable hands. We have a wonderful team of advocates both within our center walls and throughout the community who have helped to revive the Family Life Center.

    We continue to look for ways to educate our community while helping victims remain safe. In addition, we are currently looking for a few direct-service volunteers. We provide full training free of charge. If you are interested, please call (386) 437-7747 for an interview.

    Thank you Ms. Wadsworth for highlighting domestic violence awareness. The more people we can engage in the conversation the better our chances for holding perpetrators accountable and supporting survivor safety.

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