Domestic violence (DV) is a pattern of behaviors that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners or former partners to establish power and control. It may include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and economic abuse. It may also include threats, isolation, pet abuse, using children and a variety of other behaviors used to maintain fear, intimidation and power over one's partner. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It occurs in intimate relationships, regardless of race, religion, culture or socioeconomic status. (Florida Department of Children and Families)
The domestic violence statistics presented on the Community Atlas are from the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) compiled by multiple law enforcement agencies operating in Hillsborough County. The UCR is a standardized law enforcement reporting system used throughout the United States to track crime. When reviewing domestic violence statistics it is important to remember that it refers to offenses (or events) not arrests (or persons).
The information on domestic violence presented on the Community Atlas includes reports of the following offenses:
Some interesting facts about Florida trends in domestic violence:
Domestic violence can affect families in many deleterious ways. Child abuse, for example, is also prevalent and often occurs in the same families as domestic violence. Research indicates that merely witnessing domestic violence can have profound effects on children. Childhood exposure to domestic violence is associated with increased aggression, depression and anxiety, lower levels of social competence, and poorer academic functioning. "Family violence threatens child" is the alleged maltreatment most reported to the Florida Abuse Hotline every year. Childhood exposure to family violence also significantly increases the likelihood of either perpetrating or being the victim of violence as an adult. (Florida Department of Children and Families)
Domestic violence data can be an important tool for communities to better understand patterns and trends. Looking at the data, a community can see whether DV is increasing or decreasing. They can also see how they compare to other communities around the county. Crime is often considered a quality of life issue for communities.
Before interpreting the DV crime data presented, please read the "Caveats and Limitations." Crime data can easily be misunderstood and misused. View this data as a tool to better understand crime conditions, not as an exact reflection of what is going on in a community.
The data in the UCR are collected by each individual law enforcement agency and reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Domestic violence includes reported offenses (or events) for specific types of crimes. The data were received from the following agencies:
Please view the Frequently Asked Questions for Uniform Crime Reports developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation: http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/faq.cfm. Other sources of information on domestic violence in Florida include the Florida Department of Children and Families (http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/domesticviolence/) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.