An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times questions the safety of some domestic violence shelters in Florida, including The Spring of Tampa Bay. The nonprofit behind the shelter is one of the most revered in the area and supported by many of Tampa’s elite.
The Times uses the story of a little girl molested at a domestic violence shelter to show how safety measures like extreme secrecy can backfire. Shelters in Florida are not allowed to background check victims seeking shelter. That means criminals can get into these places. Then, when they commit crimes, shelter officials use confidentiality laws to keep basic information from police, like the names of suspects and witnesses.