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Victims Advocate

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What kind of victims does the Justice Coalition help?
While crime can be committed in many forms, the Justice Coalition focuses their work on those who are affected by violent crimes, such as; murder, rape, other forms of forcible sex, robbery and aggravated assault. "

What is a victim advocate?
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary a victim is one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any various conditions. An advocate is one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court. Victim advocates work with victims to help plead their cases and their feelings in front of courts or any other groups, such as the media. These individuals also help victims in understanding what their rights and services are.

Can I prevent myself from becoming a victim?
There are things that individuals can do that can help a person from becoming a victim of crime. There are personal habits and techniques that individuals can follow that can help, but no safety plan or self-defense course can guarantee to keep a person safe. You can stay safe by increasing your awareness of safety plans, which can allow you to become cautious of your surroundings and confidence. A safety plan can help you in emergencies.

A safety plan has to meet your individual needs and can be developed with an expert on safety and crime prevention. A few steps to help start you on your way can include:

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about safety, crime or violence with a person you trust
  • Don’t buy into denial that there is no danger and that it can’t happen to you
  • Have important phone numbers memorized or easily accessible
  • Know about victim rights and services

What is a crime?
A crime is committed when someone breaks the law. There are many different areas of crime, such as violent crimes and property crimes. A violent crime is a crime that takes place in which an individual experience violence against themselves. Crimes that are described as violent crimes include: murder, rap, other forms of forcible sex, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crime is when crimes are committed against property, such as burglary, larceny, vehicle theft and arson. Sometimes a person can become a victim of both violent and property crime.

For a better understanding of what is criminal behavior in your area contact your local law enforcement agency.

What kind of injuries can a victim experience?
There are several type of injuries that a victim may experience. Four categories best explains what type of injuries a person may experience when becoming a victim of crime. These categories include the following:

  • Emotional injuries, such as long lasting effects (trauma)
  • Physical injuries, such as damage to the body
  • Financial injuries, such as damage that causes monetary problems; money or possessions stolen
  • Social injuries, such as injuries that occur due to society; as when a victim is treated insensitively

What steps should I take after a crime has taken place?

1. Get medical care - If a crime has taken place the first step should always be to get medical help if it is needed. When calling 911 to report a crime, it is important that you informed the operator that an ambulance is needed to provide medical help.

2. Report the crime - To ensure your safety, it is always important to report a crime to your local law enforcement agency, no matter how small the crime may seem.

3. Check the progress of the investigation - Victims should always be kept informed about the investigation. Victims can call the investigative officer to find out about the progress if the officer does not contact them.

Once a person is arrested for the crime they are temporarily taken to a local jail and may be allowed to get out of jail through a bond while waiting to hear if they must go to trail. If this takes place a victim should be notified as soon as possible.

After there has been an arrest the case will go to the prosecutor’s office and a prosecutor (the government lawyer for the people of that area will be assigned to the case. That individual will review the case and decides if the case should go to court or be handle in a different way. If the offender is taken to court and is found guilty they will face a “sentence” which is an order for them to do jail time, community service or perhaps pay monetary damage.

For more information about victims assistance please call the Justice Coalition or a
National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA) web site.

Local Sheriffs Office
Jacksonville Sheriffs Office (JSO)
Clay County
St. Johns County
Nassau County
Baker County

Women’s Shelters
Hubbard House (Jacksonville)
Quigley House (Clay County)
Betty Griffin House (St. Johns County)
Divorce Source (listing of FL Domestic shelters)

Child Safety: sites for kids and adults
Safe Kids
Stay Alert Stay Safe
McGruff the Crime Dog
Safe Place
Safe Kids (regarding Internet and Technology)

National Crime Prevention Organizations
National Crime Prevention Council
Cyber Angels
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
America’s Most Wanted

Florida Sites
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
Florida Attorney General Crime Victims Services
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Florida Department of Corrections
Florida Highway Patrol

Local Organizations
Guardian Ad Litem
Voices for Children of the First Coast

Victim Assistance Organizations
National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)
Florida Department of Corrections Victims Assistance Office
National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC)
An Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection

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The Justice Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit organization serving innocent victims of violent crime on Florida’s First Coast

The Justice Coalition
1935 S. Lane Ave., Ste. 1, Jacksonville, FL 32210 / 904-783-6312

E-Mail: justice@justicecoalition.org