Frequently Asked Questions

What if I know someone who is a victim?

Many of us know people who are in unhealthy relationships that we suspect may be abusive.  Confronting the batterer could be dangerous to you, and potentially a risk to your loved one.  Instead, letting the victim know that they are not alone and that they have a right to a life without fear and hurt is critical.  You may be the only person in their lives giving them a positive message about their value.  It is hard not to give advice, or to say things like “you need to leave” or “I would never take that from my partner”.   The best course of action is to refer them to the helpline (352-377-8255) and to ensure them that the abuse is not their fault and there are resources available to help.

How can I get involved in this issue?

The single most important thing you can do to engage in this issue is to talk about it.  Simply confronting small things like calling tank tops “wife-beaters” and providing information to your circle of friends and colleagues can continue to bring the issue out of the silence where it hides.

What if I want to volunteer?

Peaceful Paths utilizes volunteers for a variety of services and projects, and we would welcome your help!  Please follow the link to the Volunteers section and get started today.

What is Batterer’s Intervention Programming?

Batterer’s Intervention Programming, or BIP, is the state certified education program that helps individuals who engage in abusive behaviors learn new ways to have healthy relationships. BIP is usually court ordered, but individuals can attend voluntarily as well.   BIP confronts batterer behavior through a process of identification, ownership, and behavior modification aimed at increasing victim safety and reducing abuse.  Locally, Peaceful Paths is associated with Dr. Paul Wheeler at the Gestalt Center for BIP services, and would recommend his services, as well as the services of Creative Counseling.

All groups are provided on a sliding scale, and are open enrollment.   See the phone numbers below for contact information. Gestalt Center – 373-5107

Can Men Get Involved?

Anyone, regardless of gender, can access services or become involved in the work.  Men are critical to the success of the movement to end domestic violence.  Men who stand up for healthy relationships and against traditional sexism are vital allies in making a difference in the way that the issue is addressed in our community.  If you would like to become involved in a Men Stopping Violence group, please contact our Executive Director, Dr. Theresa Harrison.

What about ADA Accessibility?

Peaceful Paths provides services according to state and federal law and regulations concerning accessibility.  Some locations have greater accessibility than others, but our agency strives to ensure that necessary accommodations for services are made whenever possible.  For more information about accessing services with a disability, please contact the helpline at 352-377-8255.  TTY services are available.

What is a restraining order?

An injunction for protection against domestic violence (sometimes called an injunction or a restraining order) is a court document that orders the abuser to stop doing certain acts (such as abusing you, contacting you or coming near you) and makes the abuser do other acts (such as leaving your home, and paying you temporary child support). It can also give you certain rights (such as temporary custody of your children). If you have an injunction, and the abuser violates it, the police may arrest him for the violation.*

An injunction for protection against domestic violence can:

  • Order the abuser to stay away from your home, your work, etc.*
  • Order the abuser to not contact you, directly or through a third party*
  • Order the abuser to stop abusing you
  • Tell the abuser to leave you alone
  • Order the abuser to leave the home you share with him
  • Give you temporary custody (known as 100% of the time-sharing in a temporary parenting plan) and limit or prohibit the abuser from time-sharing (visitation) of your children or have those visits supervised by a third party**
  • Give you temporary child support or spousal support**
  • Order the abuser to go to treatment, counseling, or a batterers’ intervention program, which the abuser has to pay for
  • Refer you to a certified domestic violence center, which you can contact if you choose and
  • Order anything else that the judge believes is necessary for your protection or the protection of your children.***

A judge will decide which of the above will be included in the order.

Note: All final injunctions (not temporary ex parte injunctions) will state that it is illegal for the respondent (abuser) to have a gun or ammunition in his possession.****

* Fla.Stat. § 741.31(4)(a)(2),(5)
** Fla. Stat. §§ 741.30(3)(k); (5)(a)(3) & (6)(a)(3)
*** Fla .Stat. § 741.30(6)(a)
**** Fla. Stat. § 741.30(6)(g)

Peaceful Paths has advocates in Alachua, Bradford, and Union Counties to help file for an injunction. Learn more about our Victim Advocacy programs.