The member of the Domestic Violence Division gives insight to some issues surrounding domestic violence
Judge Christine Bandín is a Miami-native who began as an experienced litigator specializing in insurance law. She spent six years as an associate at Andrews Biernacki and Davis, where she acquired much experience in the courtroom. Prior to being appointed by Governor Rick Scott in Oct. 2018, Bandín gained enough experience to build a foundation of rules surrounding civil procedure, trial practice, statute construction, and courtroom etiquette.
Using this experience, Christine Bandín is now a member of the Domestic Violence Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse in Downtown Miami-Dade. Her focus is on both civil and criminal matters.
Judge Bandín notes that what she likes most about her job is that she is making a difference in someone’s life. This rewarding feeling is why she has decided to run in August to keep her job. She has learned a lot over the course of her time as a judge, some of which she detailed to Calle Ocho News.
Although announcing her views on this issue is prohibited due to the Judicial Cannons of Ethics, Judge Bandín mentions that one of her biggest findings in the courtroom is that parents do not understand that their behavior towards each other—namely, domestic violence—directly impacts their children.
Further, in some cases, the abuser was previously a victim and people minimized the abuse they were experiencing, which leads to an escalation of the abuse.
To alleviate the unpleasantness frequently felt by victims, Judge Bandín believes people must be more educated about the resources available to them in Miami Dade County. Some of these resources include Victim Advocates, free legal representation, and assistance with shelters and housing.
Bandin adds that the community may be a source of assistance to domestic violence victims.
“Those victims, seemingly, stay in the abusive relationship longer than cases where the victims were not completely isolated.”Christine Bandin
“I have observed that sometimes victims of domestic violence become isolated from their support system and, consequently, they feel they do not have anyone to turn to for help,” said Bandín.
While cases were lower than average prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bandín found that the cases increased as phase 1 of reopening began in Miami Dade. She wants to remind the community that the domestic violence intake locations are open, so anyone seeking help through the court still has access to that assistance. Otherwise, Bandín encourages the community to remain positive.
“We are in this together. Hope cannot be quarantined and there is always a silver lining if we look for it.”Christine Bandin