The Gulf County/Mexico Beach Domestic Violence Task Force and the Wewahitchka Woman’s Club are bringing local awareness to domestic violence.

The Gulf County/Mexico Beach Domestic Violence Task Force and the Wewahitchka Woman’s Club are bringing local awareness to domestic violence.

October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the organizations are reaching out to local victims of domestic violence.

The law is on your side.

If you are being abused call 229-2901 or 800-252-2597 for local help and to secure an out-of-county shelter.

Sexually assaulted? Call 866-218-4738 for help and access to a secure shelter.

Know a child, senior citizen or anyone being abused? Call 800-962-2873 (Florida Department of Children and Families/Florida Abuse Hotline.

And, always, call 911 for emergency help.

The law is on your side.

If not in immediate danger, go to the county clerk’s office in the courthouse, 1000 Cecil G. Costin, Sr. Blvd. in Port St. Joe. You have the right to ask the court to issue an “order” for your protection.

You do not need an attorney to do this simple step.

The Clerk will need your ID and the abuser’s name and physical address to help law enforcement find him or her.

In the Clerk’s office, you will fill out a form explaining the danger to you and/or your children. This information will be given to a judge for review so the protection you need may be arranged.

When an order is issued, you will be required to attend a court hearing. The purpose of the hearing is for the judge to decide whether or not to issue a final injunction. You may bring to court witnesses and evidence (pictures, messages, etc.) that you want the court to consider.

For more information go to the Clerk ofr Court’s website at www.gulfclerk.com and click the “Family Law” tab under the “Court” column.