Florida’s AG launches a program to help domestic violence survivors

Attorney General Ashley Moody launched a pilot program Thursday in Hillsborough and Martin counties to help domestic violence survivors.

Project Protect will provide free doorbell cameras to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, stalking and sexual violence, according to a news release. Moody unveiled the program in Tampa alongside law enforcement officials and county court clerks.

“Survivors of horrific crimes such as human trafficking and domestic violence, face traumatic experiences and may be extra wary of strangers and fearful of their abusers coming back to revictimize them. I am launching Project Protect in Hillsborough and Martin counties to help these survivors keep watch over who comes to their homes to provide additional peace of mind,” Moody said in the release.

In 2020, 106,515 crimes of domestic violence were reported to state law enforcement, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families. That same year, 7,083 counts of domestic violence offenses were reported in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Department of Health.

County officials say the project will provide much-needed help to survivors.

“We are incredibly proud to be chosen as the pilot test for the Attorney General’s initiative,” Hillsborough County Clerk of Court Cindy Stuart said in the news release. “Our employees already connect domestic violence survivors with the proper services they need to help pave their path to protection, every day. Project Protect will give our employees another tool to help victims by providing a measure of safety and security they may not have otherwise had.”

Information on the project can be found at the Clerks of Court offices in both counties, according to the news release. Survivors seeking protective injunctions against abusers can receive more information on the doorbell cameras from staff. They’ll also get connected with local victim advocates, who will help them through the process of acquiring the cameras.

Moody’s office says there are plans to expand Project Protect statewide.

For more information in Hillsborough County, contact [email protected] or (813) 247-8530.

For more information in Martin County, contact [email protected] or (772) 320-3064.

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