Crime Info & Support
An advocate with the USF Center for Victim Advocacy is a professional who is trained to respond with compassion and expertise to the victims of crime, violence and abuse. This includes crisis intervention, advocacy and accompaniment, and nonjudgmental support to victims to help them get through the experience and regain control of their lives. In addition, an advocate can explore all reporting options, including not reporting, as well as assist the client with any medical, academic, or safety concerns. If a sexual battery has occurred within 120 hours, a victim advocate can assist the client in receiving a forensic medical exam.
FL Statute 794
Oral, anal or vaginal penetration by, or union with a sexual organ of another or anal/vaginal penetration of another by ant other object
- The sexual act(s) is/are performed without the victim's consent.
- An individual who is mentally incapacitated, asleep, physically helpless or unconsious due to alcohol or other drug consumption is considered unable to give consent.
- The same definition applies regardless of whether the assailant is a stranger or a non-stranger.
- The type of force employed may involve physical violence, coercion or threat of harm to the victim. The victim is not required to physically fight back.
Forensic medical exams ("rape kits"):
- Not performed at hospitals in Hillsborough County/Tampa except in cases of serious injuries requiring medical attention
- Performed at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay by specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
- Can be performed up to 120 hours after the sexual battery
- You may choose to have a forensic medical exam even if you choose to not report to the police -- contact the Center for Victim Advocacy for an advocate to arrange the exam for you and accompany you if you wish
- Even if you did not preserve evidence, you may still report the crime
FL Statute 794.011:
Means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission or submission our of fear. "Consent" shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender.
In situations of Sexual Battery/Rape, preserve evidence as much as possible until it is collected:
- Avoid bathing or showering, urinating, eating or drinking (if oral-genital contact occurred during the assault)
- Avoid washing clothes worn during the assault, or washing bedding or towels that were part of the incident
- Save all communications to or from the offender or witnesses via voicemail, text, social media, or email about the incident
Not sure what to do? Contact the Center for Victim Advocacy 24/7 at (813) 974-5757 to confidentially explore your options.