More than 9 of every 10 Floridians (91.5%) say that domestic violence is a widespread problem in Florida. They believe, on average, that 38.6% of men have physically abused their wives or girlfriends at some point in time. When defining domestic violence as any physical act of violence by a man toward his wife or girlfriend, the average citizen believes that this has occurred in 41.3% of households in Florida. The majority of respondents (78.6%) believe that over the past 10 years, the number of incidents of domestic violence in Florida has increased.
Over 55% of Floridians know at least one person who is a victim of domestic violence. When asked what their relationship is to the victim of domestic violence, Floridians responded "Friend" (42.9%) more often than anything else. Over 43% of Floridians have witnessed a man physically abusing his wife or girlfriend.
Over 77% of Floridians disagree with the statement that "Domestic violence exists because the police won't stop it." However, most Floridians (56.7%) believe the media do not direct enough attention to the issue of domestic violence, while only 17.8% believe that too much attention is being paid to the issue. The primary reasons citizens believe domestic violence is a problem include:
Over 8 in 10 Floridians (86.3%) believe that an arrest should be made when the police suspect domestic violence has occurred. Similarly, almost 9 of 10 Floridians (85.3%) believe imprisonment is the appropriate punishment for domestic violence incidents involving serious bodily injury. Overall, 76.6% of Floridians believe that a person who has physically abused someone should be punished and forced to receive treatment.
The majority of Floridians believe that not enough taxpayer money is spent on the enforcement, prevention or treatment of domestic violence. Overall, 8 of 10 Floridians say they would agree to an increase in taxes to fund more counseling for victims. Over 7 of 10 report that they would agree to an increase in taxes to fund more shelters for abused women.
More than 9 of 10 Floridians say they would call the police if they heard the sounds of physical assault from the couple next door. Overall 93.0% of Floridians report that they would testify in court about a domestic violence incident that they witnessed.
Almost 9 of 10 Floridians agree with legislation that has made it illegal for an individual who has been convicted of domestic violence, or is the subject of an injunction, to possess a firearm. Overall, almost 90% of the respondents are against the provision that makes law enforcement officers and military personnel exempt from the firearm law.
Almost 6 of 10 Floridians (59.4%) are not aware that men charged with domestic abuse can be ordered to attend Batterer's Intervention Programs where they can be taught to "unlearn" violence and avoid committing further acts of abuse. Over 9 of 10 Floridians (91.8%) believe that it should be mandatory for all men charged with domestic violence to be required to attend Batterer's Intervention Programs.