Help for Victims
We are committed to assisting victims of sexual and domestic crimes by facilitating services and serving as a liaison to community agencies and the criminal justice system. We investigate allegations of sexual and domestic crimes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while also offering assistance and guidance to victims.
Our Victim Advocates provide a professional and sensitive environment for victims while providing up-to-date information about services and agencies available to victims. They work alongside the detectives to offer victims the emotional support needed and to offer crisis intervention.
They will follow up with victims to ensure that their emergency needs are met and offer referrals for other long-term needs, such as counseling, shelter, legal assistance and other miscellaneous needs.
Victim Advocates have completed an Advocacy Core Training Certification by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence in accordance with Florida Statutes. They work closely with community-based organizations, hospitals, other municipalities and the Rape Treatment Center to ensure quality service for victims.
Rights of the Victim
We realize that for many persons, being a victim or witness to a crime is their first experience with the criminal and juvenile justice systems. As a victim or witness, you have certain rights within the system. The following information is being provided to you to assist you with questions you may have regarding those rights. For further information regarding these rights, please contact the State Attorney's Office (SAO) and/or the appropriate law enforcement agency (LEA) handling your case. Read More.
Domestic Violence is a crime. No one, not even someone you live with, has the right to beat you or threaten you with violence. Knowing your legal rights and your options is the first step toward ending the abuse.
If you're being physically or sexually abused, threatened by a family or household member, or believe you are in danger of such abuse, get help.
- The law protects you if you're being abused or threatened by your spouse, former spouse, or another family member who is or was living in the same household as you.
- The law protects you from abuse by a person with whom you have a child in common, whether you lived together or not.
- You don't need to be married or related to the abuser to be protected under the law.
If you're the victim of domestic violence, call us immediately. Also, you may ask the State Attorney to press charges by calling 305-547-0150.
You also have the right to go to court and file a petition requesting an Injunction for Protection from domestic violence which may include, but not be limited to:
- Provisions which restrain the abuser from further acts of abuse.
- Directing the abuser to leave your household.
- Preventing the abuser from entering your residence, school, business, or place or employment.
- Awarding you custody of a minor child or children.
- Directing the abuser to pay support to you and any minor children if the abuser has a legal obligation to do so.
Remember, if an individual has abused you physically or sexually, or if you have good reason to fear that this person is about to be violent toward you, the law in Florida enables you to get a judge to order the abuse to stop.
What to Do After a Sexual Assault
Remember that you have just experienced a traumatic event; you need to be with others. Reach out to those whom you trust and care for you. Do not blame yourself. The assault is not your fault and you are in no way responsible. Give yourself permission to feel sad or angry and share your feelings with others. You're normal and are having normal reactions-don't label yourself crazy. Do not resort to drugs or alcohol to numb or relieve the pain. Help is out there. Just ask for it. Read More.
Talking About Sexual Assault
No one should touch your body or do anything to it unless you understand what they are going to do and you say "yes." These are serious crimes. We have laws to protect people from abuse. Your body belongs only to you. Bad touch can make you feel scared or very hurt. Sexual assault can hurt your body and your feelings. They did something wrong, but you didn't do anything wrong. Read More.
Child Sexual Abuse
It is more common than many people think, and its effects can be devastating. Victims of sexual abuse can be girls or boys of any age. The abuse can cause serious and long-lasting psychological harm and many times leads to shattered families. Read More.
We want to trust the people in our lives: our friends, family members and community acquaintances. Unfortunately, the truth is that we are more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone we know: a friend, a relative, an employer, a date or someone we have recently met than by a stranger. Read More.
Adult Victims of Child Sexual Abuse
The sexual abuse of children spans all races, ages, ethnic groups and economic backgrounds. Sexual abuse means any kind of unwanted or inappropriate sexual behavior with a child, whether or not there is actual physical contact. Tragically, this kind of abuse is not rare; studies estimate that one in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused as children. Read More.
Sexual violence can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of their age or background. Elderly people face difficulties and obstacles in dealing with sexual assault that other people do not, including a harder time reaching out for help and healing physically and emotionally. Read More.
When Men Are Victims
Men and boys can be victims of sexual violence as children, teens or as adults. Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual contact. Perpetrators of sexual violence against men act out of power and control. Sexual violence includes such crimes as rape, incest, statutory sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation of children or any sexual contact without consent. Read More.
Myths About Sexual Assault
When most people think about how rapes occur, they imagine desolate dark alleyways late at night and the attacker being a stranger. The truth is the majority of people who commit rape know their victims. They may be relatives, friends or work colleagues. Read More.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I tell the police?
That is a question only the victim can answer. It's a personal choice that you, the victim, must feel comfortable making. These FAQs may help you decide what is right for you.
What will happen if I do?
A specially trained detective from MDPD's Sexual Crimes Bureau will talk to you in confidence. They will guide you through the Criminal Justice System, while investigating your case.
What will the Police think of me?
We will not judge you. You will be treated with sensitivity and respect.
I can't remember what happened so how can I tell the Police?
If you are worried or anxious and think something has happened to you, tell us.
What is a Victim Services Coordinator?
Victim Service Coordinators are available to all sexual assault victims. They offer emotional support during crisis and assist the rape survivor in obtaining needed services.
Will I have to go to court?
That will depend on the end result of your case. The detective and/or State Attorney's Office will advise you about court procedures and hearing information.
I don't want to go to the police. Is there somewhere else I can go for help?
If you decide not to call the police, call someone. The Rape Hotline will always offer support, even if you choose to remain anonymous. You can visit the Roxcy Bolton Rape Treatment Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in confidence. They can provide you with medical treatment and ongoing support and advice.
If you're a victim, and you don't find answers on this page, please call the Rape Hotline.
Sexual Crimes Investigations Unit
Domestic Crimes Investigations Unit
National Human Trafficking Hotline
Email / Mail
Special Victims Bureau
1701 NW 87th Ave.
Doral FL 33172