Miami – At the Miami-Dade County Commission meeting held on May 5th, 2020, Vice Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa advanced legislation supporting the creation of an outreach campaign with State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to inform domestic violence victims that shelters, domestic violence courts and service providers are available and have taken steps to keep families together and safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Attorney Fernandez Rundle appeared before the Commission to make an important presentation regarding domestic violence, delivering the message that staying home does not mean staying trapped in a situation of domestic violence. For those who have been living in an abusive relationship, domestic violence is a great concern especially during this time. Being in self-isolation due to this COVID-19 crisis and staying at home with someone who is an abuser could be a matter of life or death.
“I am very appreciative of the Board of County Commissioners for sponsoring Vice Chair Sosa’s Resolution and for promoting an awareness campaign to fight domestic violence,” said State Attorney Fernandez Rundle. “Our victims need to know they are not alone.”
As of May 4th, shelters in the community are available and all are CDC compliant. The State Attorney’s Office prosecutors and support staff, both misdemeanor and felony, are working remotely to file criminal cases and assist victims.
“We need an awareness campaign to ensure potential victims in our community know the courts are open and issuing protective orders, and police are available to respond to abusive and violent calls. Shelter and services are available”, she said in a release.
The SAO MOVES (Mobile Operations Victim Emergency Services) program staff are providing community outreach services throughout the community for domestic violence victims, contacting victims to assess their immediate needs, offer safety planning and services, and attempting video pre-file conferences in effort to protect the victims and ensure a stronger case when the matter goes to court.
Victims can call the State Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit at 305-547-0140. For services, victims can call Miami-Dade County’s Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC) Helpline at 305-285-5900.