The Victim Services Section consists of a Victim Advocate and is a component of Florida Atlantic University’s Advocacy Center that includes a victim services coordinator employed by the Division of Student Affairs. The unit is operational Monday through Friday between 8:00am – 5:00pm. The Victim Advocate is on-call for emergencies 365 days a year and responds as needed on evenings, nights and weekends as necessary. The Victim Advocacy Center is located in the library on the Boca Raton Campus. The Florida Atlantic University Victim Advocate does not maintain the rights to confidentiality; however, the advocate works in conjunction with Palm Beach County Victim Services to provide comprehensive services to the victim. It is intended to assist students, staff and faculty with the traumatizing consequences of being a victim of crime even if the crime occurred off campus.
The Victim Advocate is responsible for maintaining compliance through the Office of the Attorney General and is responsible for updating officers when new legislation is passed that effects victims of crime and provides updates through training when warranted. The Victim Advocate also arranges for officers to attend Crisis Intervention Team training and offic-ers and staff to be trained by community partners.
The Victim Advocate educates the FAU community in a variety of ways by providing training for FAU’s Resident Assistants (RAs), Resident Coordinators (RCs), and for educating students at Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College. Victim Services also participates in giving presentations on dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking through a coordinated effort between the Florida Atlantic University Police Department and FAU’s Housing and Residential Education’s Housing/Police Initiative. Victim Services is also present during every Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class to make sure past, present or future victims are informed on the services offered both on and off campus.
FAU’s Victim Advocate is actively involved in community engagement outside of FAU as well. The Victim Advocate is an active member of the Domestic Violence Council of Palm Beach County and the Fatality Review Team of Palm Beach County, is a member of the Student Crisis Action Committee and the White House Task Force on campus. The Victim Advocate participates and promotes healthy relationships and attends victim safety events on campus events throughout the year.
Victim Services provides services to a myriad of victims including providing crisis intervention services, referring to other agencies for follow up services, providing assistance filling out the paperwork necessary to file for injunctions, providing guidance and support from the beginning of the crime all the way through the judicial process. The advocate also provides emotional support during police or Dean of Student’s interviews, and acts as a liaison between the victim and any other agency, to include but not limited to, the State Attorney’s Office, Victim Services of Palm Beach County, and service providers, to ensure all their needs are met.
Because most people have little contact with the criminal justice system, it can be confusing, intimidating and frustrating. At Florida Atlantic University Police Department, we want to provide the members of our community, who are criminally victimized, with information and services to lessen the impact of victimization. A Victim Advocate can:
• Provide Crisis Intervention
• Give you information about victim’s rights according to Florida Statutes
• Help you evaluate your options
• Document your victimization for school or employers
• Help you create a Safety Plan
• Give you information and assistance about reporting crimes both within and outside the University proper
• Accompany you to appointments at police stations, the state attorney's office, court rooms, Dean of Students, judicial hearings and other places
• Provide you with referrals to social services such as counseling, legal and medical
• Coordinate assistance and services to your individual needs
• Explain how the judicial process works
• Provide you with information about the progress of your individual case
• Explain and help you apply for Victim compensation as designated by Florida Statute
• Act as your liaison to the Criminal Justice Community
Crime victims frequently experience a myriad of feelings. The Victim Services program offers resources and referrals to assist victims in managing and understanding the emotions and physical reactions. Victims often need help changing from victim to survivor.
Sometimes victims are reluctant to report crimes or are not sure whether what occurred is a crime. You can discuss your victimization with an advocate from victim services and decide if you want to report to the police or if a crime truly occurred. YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE A POLICE REPORT TO TALK WITH AN ADVOCATE. While making an official report is encouraged, it is not required. Victim Services are available even if the crime is not reported.
All services are free and confidential. However, Florida State Statute does require some types of crime information be reported to the appropriate authorities such as mandatory reporting of child abuse, or the abuse of a vulnerable adult. Other victim information is kept CONFIDENTIAL.