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Advocates supporting domestic violence victims amid ‘Diddy’ video
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Advocates supporting domestic violence victims amid ‘Diddy’ video

  • PublishedMay 20, 2024

Advocates at Jacksonville’s Hubbard House want victims of domestic violence to know they are not alone and there is help available.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Advocates are offering support for victims of domestic violence following the release of a shocking video showing rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs beating his ex-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura.

When Hubbard House CEO Dr. Gail Patin saw the video, her first thought went to the victims her organization serves.

“I know that it might bring up really traumatic memories for survivors when something like that comes in the news or is on social media,” Patin said.

Hubbard House provides resources and emergency housing for victims of domestic violence. Patin knows how difficult it is for victims to leave unsafe relationships.

“It can be one of the most dangerous times for victims of domestic violence when they’re leaving or planning to leave a relationship. And so we always tell people, call a hotline nearest you to get help with safety planning on how to leave safely so that you can be protected,” Patin said.

Since the video came out on Friday, the Los Angeles District Attorney said Diddy will not be prosecuted because the assault is past the statute of limitations. The video was captured in March 2016. 

Jacksonville Attorney Shannon Schott said the laws are similar here in Florida. For a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations is within two years and a felony can be up to four years.

“A domestic violence situation can be prosecuted at various levels of violence. So the battery part of that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor where there’s a shorter period of time, all the way up to felonies, but it is going to be less than five years for someone to take action,” Schott explained.

Schott said domestic violence cases can sometimes be difficult to prosecute, but that should not deter victims from seeking help. Schott added Marcy’s Law gives victims greater protections in Florida.

“If you’re a victim and the only evidence is your testimony, that still can be competent and substantial evidence. And so a lot of victims think that’s not enough, that is enough to prosecute someone,” Schott said.

At Hubbard House, victims are provided with resources should they wish to take legal action. Patin said it is always the victim’s choice, and they never pressure victims to press charges or file a lawsuit.

Patin hopes this video will spark conversation about the resources available and victims will feel more empowered to get help.

“I want them to know that they are not alone, that we are here to help, and that you’re strong, and you’re courageous, and you’re brave, and just pick up that phone and call our hotline,” Patin said.

The number for the Hubbard House 24/7 hotline is (904)-354-3114, or text 24/7 at (904)-210-3698. For more on the resources available at Hubbard House, click here.

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