Resources for Victims
What kind of victims does the Justice Coalition help?
While crime can be committed in many forms, the Justice Coalition focuses its 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?
At Justice Coalition, our victim advocates work with innocent victims and survivors to help plead their cases and their feelings in front of courts. Our victim advocates also help victims understand their rights, help them write impact statements to present to the court during sentencing, and are liaisons with law enforcement, the State Attorney’s Office and the media.
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 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 inform 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 be assigned a prosecuting attorney. That attorney will review the case and decide if it 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 click here National Organization for Victims Assistance.
Resource Links for More Information
Click on any organization’s name to be linked to its website
Local Sheriff’s Offices
Florida Council Against Sexual Violence
Florida Attorney General Crime Victims Services
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Florida Department of Corrections
Florida Highway Patrol
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