Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Take Action to Save a Life

October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, (DVAM), and many organizations both in Southwest Florida and around the country undertake programs and campaigns developed to educate people about exactly how serious the situation can be, and how victims can get help.

According to Florida’s Attorney General, domestic violence is the leading cause of physical injuries to women and also the third leading cause of homelessness. Many people think of domestic violence as the occurrence of a male in a relationship physically abusing their female partner, but the reality is there are many other instances which often go unnoticed. 

The Florida Department of Children and Families reports that from 2020 to 2021, over 412,000 nights of emergency shelter were provided to more than 10,000 Florida domestic violence victims. These are people who are trapped in an abusive situation and need a safe place to escape from their environment, often with minor children also affected by the violence. 

At the Fort Myers Law Office of Joseph Cerino, we help domestic abuse victims and advocate for their rights, helping them break free of their troubled surroundings. 

“Domestic violence can involve many more factors than people may realize and happens far more often than expected,” said Attorney Cerino. “We are always here to help.”

The Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center, known throughout Southwest Florida as ACT, is a source of many resources and help dedicated to assist abuse victims in attaining a better life and protecting their legal and physical rights. 

ACT points out that domestic violence can involve much more than a man striking a woman, and many don’t realize they’re involved in an abusive situation until it’s too late. Some circumstances may involve a partner controlling the victim, doing things like demanding they don’t work, never go out on their own, restricting access to any financial assets, or keeping the victim away from seeing friends or family. 

There are several early detection signs that could be a red flag when it comes to more serious domestic violence, and people need to be aware of certain behaviors that may lead to a dangerous living situation.

If your partner is exhibiting erratic and abusive behavior like threatening to hurt you physically, or even your children, continually humiliates you verbally, damages your home in a violent manner or abandons you with the threat of further consequences, you should be on alert that you are with an abuser. 

“Domestic violence happens in a wide cross section of people, no matter the economic status, level of education, married or not,” says Attorney Cerino. “You just don’t know what may be going on with your family, friends or neighbors, and our job is to help victims get out of their abusive situation and rebuild their lives.” 

If you have concerns or questions about being victimized in an abusive relationship, Attorney Joseph Cerino is available at 239-561-2820 or you can chat live with us at

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The law office of Joseph Cerino handles all matters of litigation, concentrating in family law including divorce, custody, child support, paternity, alimony, property division and domestic violence, as well as, criminal defense and appeals in Southwest Florida.

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