Victim Compensation:
Victims of sexual crimes may be eligible for
financial assistance for:
s medical care,
s lost income,
s mental health services, and
s other out-of-pocket expenses directly
related to the injury.
Victims wishing to apply for assistance, check
on the status of their applications, or in need of
any other assistance can contact the Division of
Victim Services within the Office of the Attorney
General toll free at 1-800-226-6667.
Victims of Sexual Crimes have
various other rights, many of which
are found in Chapter 960 of the
Florida Statutes, including the right:
s To have information relating to the
criminal investigation of the crime that
might identify the victim kept confidential
and exempt from public records (Florida
Statutes §119.071 and §92.56).
s To have an advocate from a certified
rape crisis center present during the
forensic examination.
s To have an advocate present during a
discovery deposition (a defense attorney’s
pre-trial questioning of witnesses).
s To have the offender, if charged with the
crime, tested for HIV and to receive the
results of that testing.
s To attend the sentencing or disposition of
the offender and request that the offender
be required to attend a different school if
the offender goes to the same school as
the victim or the victim’s siblings.
Victims
have
rights!
s To be notified of judicial proceedings and
scheduling changes.
s To have information concerning release
of the offender from incarceration
from a county jail, municipal jail,
juvenile detention facility, or residential
commitment facility.
s To be consulted by the state attorney
about the disposition of the criminal or
juvenile case.
s To request restitution.
s To submit an oral or written impact
statement.
s To not be asked or required to submit to
a polygraph examination or other truthtelling device as a condition of proceeding
with the investigation of the offense.
s To take up to three days of leave, which
can be paid or unpaid at the discretion
of the employer, to deal with issues that
arise from the crime if the employer has 50
employees or more and the employee has
worked for the employer for at least three
months, provides some documentation of
the crime, and has used other available
leave (Florida Statute §741.313).
This project was supported by Grant No. 2009-EF-S6-0043
awarded by the Violence Against Women Grants Office, Office
of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view
in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S.
Department of Justice or the Florida Department of Children
and Families.
Resources:
Victim Compensation
1-800-226-6667
http://myfloridalegal.com/
Sexual Battery
Victim’s Rights and Services
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
Statewide information and referral line: 1-888-956-7273
www.fcasv.org
Florida Department of Corrections
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) &
Victim Assistance Office
1-877-8-VICTIM (1-877-884-2846)
Toll-Free VINE Line: 1-877-VINE-4-FL (1-877-846-3435)
www.dc.state.fl.us/oth/victasst/index.html
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
Sexual Offender/Predator Unit
1-877-414-7234
www.fdle.state.fl.us
Florida Abuse Hotline
1-800-962-2873
Victims often need support in the
healing process from a sexual crime. Your
local rape crisis center stands ready to
help you:
Palm Beach County Board
of County Commissioners
Palm Beach County
Victim Services
Services at four locations
Central Office: 561-355-2418
Toll Free Hotline: 866-891-7273
TTY#561-355-1772
If you are the victim of a sexual crime,
you have certain rights. Supportive
services are also available to you free
of charge regardless of whether or
not you continue with the criminal
justice process.
Help is Available
Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual crime
needs compassion, sensitivity, and caring. Dealing
with the feelings and issues resulting from the
crime can be overwhelming and confusing. Services
including hotline, crisis intervention and advocacy
are available to you free of charge from your local
certified rape crisis center. An advocate from a
rape crisis center can:
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FORENSIC EXAMINATION?
Often when a sexual crime has occurred, the
victim is examined by a registered nurse or a doctor.
In a private area, the medical professional will
conduct a head-to-toe exam checking for injuries
and collecting evidence which may include a pelvic
exam and taking photos. The victim has the right to:
s help you understand in greater detail many
of the issues described in this brochure.
s decline any part of the exam at any point.
s assure you that your reactions are a normal
part of the response to the crime.
s have an advocate present from a certified
rape crisis center.
s listen to your feelings and concerns.
s help you understand and weigh your options.
s be with you at appointments if you desire.
s contact others on your behalf with your
permission.
Rape crisis centers are legally and ethically
required to protect your confidentiality (Florida
Statute §90.5035). Unless you specifically ask them
in writing with your signature to release information
about you, they will not.
Call 1-888-956-7273 to be referred to local services.
Sexual Battery is a Crime!
A victim of sexual battery can report the
crime to law enforcement and can ask the
State Attorney (sometimes referred to as a
prosecutor) to file a criminal complaint
against the offender(s).
A victim has the constitutional right to
be informed, to be present, and to be heard
at all crucial stages of a criminal or juvenile
proceeding, to the extent that this right does
not interfere with constitutional rights of the
accused.
s keep the exam confidential.
The medical professional will ask the
victim some questions about the crime
and her/his medical history. The medical
professional also may:
s take blood, urine, saliva, pubic hair combings,
and/or nail samples.
s place items of the victim’s clothing into the
exam kit.
What is
sexual
battery?
In the state of Florida, the legal term for the
crime of rape or sexual assault is sexual battery
(Chapter 794, F.S.).
Sexual battery means oral, anal, or vaginal
penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ
of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of
another by any other object committed without
The medical professional can prescribe
medications to protect the victim from
certain sexually transmitted infections
and recommend follow-up medical care.
s HIV prevention medication may be
available if that is of particular concern to
the victim and should be started right away.
s A victim who is concerned about
pregnancy as a result of the crime should
be provided with medically accurate
information about the option to receive
or purchase emergency contraception
to prevent pregnancy. Emergency
contraception should be started within
120 hours of the crime and is available
over-the-counter to women 18 and older
at many pharmacies.
The exam is free regardless of whether or not the
victim is pursuing criminal charges against the
offender although the victim may be responsible
for medications and additional healthcare costs.
that person’s consent (if that person is
an adult).
Consent means intelligent, knowing, and
voluntary consent and does not include coerced
submission. The law says that consent does not
mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer
physical resistance to the offender.
If the victim is under 16 years of age, consent
cannot be used as a defense to a sexual crime.
Further, a 16- or 17-year-old cannot legally
consent to sexual activity with a person in a
position of familial or custodial authority or to a
person 24 or older.
What if I fear for my safety?
Both adult and minor victims of sexual crimes
who fear for their safety or fear the offender might
contact them can seek a sexual violence injunction
(Florida Statute §784.046) sometimes referred
to as a restraining order or protection order.
s Victims under 18 can file for an injunction or their
parents or legal guardians may file for them.
s To obtain the injunction the victim or
guardian must have reported the crime to law
enforcement and cooperate in any criminal
proceeding against the offender.
s Victims may also seek an injunction against an
offender who has been released from jail or
prison or who will be released within 90 days.
s Filing for a sexual violence injunction is free.
s The application can be made at a local
courthouse with assistance from the court clerk.
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