Victim Services Division
The State Attorney’s Office began offering services to victims in 1981. The need for victim services was recognized and funded by the Boards of County Commissioners in Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee and Saint Lucie Counties long before the Victim Rights Amendment to the Florida Constitution passed in 1988. With the support of the County Commissioners and Indian River State College, services were offered to victims of sexual assault initially. However, over the years, these services have been extended to victims of all crimes.
Victim Assistance Program
Advocates are assigned to each Prosecution Division in the State Attorney’s Office (Felony, Misdemeanor and Juvenile). These Advocates assist victims when their cases are presented to the Office for prosecution. The Advocates ensure (1) that victims are kept informed about the status of their cases, (2) that victims are at all court hearings if they wish to attend (3) and that victims are allowed to give input and express how the crime affected their lives.
Other services include assistance in filing for Crimes Compensation, transportation to court hearings, assistance with employers and creditors, referrals to appropriate community resources for services needed.
CIVIL RIGHTS FACTS
In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Justice policy, this organization is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, contact or write Office for Civil Rights, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531 or call 202-307-0690 (Voice) or 202-307-2027 (TDD/TYY). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may also contact OCR through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY), 877-877-8982 (Speech), or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). Or contact the Department of Legal Affairs, PL-01 The Capitol, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399, or call 850-414-3300.
The State Attorney’s Office recognizes that victims of domestic violence need specialized assistance. The advocates are trained in the dynamics of domestic violence. The main goal of the State Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Program is to ensure the safety of the victim.
First Appearance Program
VAWA STOP funds are utilized by the 19th Circuit State Attorney’s Office to provide FIRST APPEARANCE contact with victims of domestic and sexual violence. The purpose of the FIRST APPEARANCE Project is to (1) ensure immediate contact with victims to discuss safety planning with the offender in custody, (2) provide input from the victim to the Judge for bond and release conditions, (3) establish a relationship between the State Attorney’s Office Victim Advocates and victim to build trust in the Criminal Justice response.
Florida Crime Victim Bill of Rights
Victims of crime or their lawful representatives, including the next of kin of homicide victims, are entitled to the right to be informed, to be present, and to be heard when relevant, at all crucial stages of criminal proceedings, to the extent that these rights do not interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.
Links To Victim Resources
Victim Service Volunteer Program