ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings held the first meeting of the Domestic Violence Commission on Monday in order to recommend solutions to reduce domestic violence in the county.
Earlier this month, Demings announced about reconvening the group that includes local officials such as Orange County Sheriff John Mina and Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.
"Domestic violence is no longer a private matter. Domestic violence is a public health safety issue that spans gender and age," Demings said.
The panel also includes domestic violence survivors and Harbor House executive director Michelle Sperzel.
Each member exchanged ideas to help Central Florida families in need.
"The drop rate for prosecutions of domestic violence crimes is still quite high," Judge Donald Myers said.
Myers, who is also a member of the commission, said the courts are doing everything they can to make sure there are better resources that can help victims that are in crisis.
That includes stricter laws and the possibility of taking away weapons from the abuser.
"We are making abusers accountable to follow the law," Myers said. "Abusers must now prove to the judge that hey have turned in their firearms and ammunition upon the entry of an injunction."
According to officials, there are more than a half-million domestic violence incidents that have gone unreported and more than 15 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year.
The Domestic Violence Commission is set to meet again on Dec. 6 at the Orange County Administration Building.