Legal Assistance

If you are the victim of a sexual assault, we may be able to help you with your legal needs.
 

Our next live, walk-in, intake hours will be on:
                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                  
  Thursday, August 24
  11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  Suncoast Center, Inc.
  2960 Roosevelt Blvd.
  Clearwater, FL 33760

Please check the website the day before scheduled walk-in hours to check for schedule updates.

Who we serve?

  • Adults and children age 11 and older
  • People of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including LGBTQ, women, men and non-binary people
  • Immigrants, refugees, and undocumented victims regardless of legal status

Below is a list of some of the areas we can assist with, and some examples to better explain ways we may be able to help:

  • Education
    • If you have been sexually assaulted by another student or employee of a school or university, FCASV can help you with your rights and needs. 
    • If you want to report it to the school we can guide you through the process, known as a Title 9 investigation. 
    • We can also help you with identifying who you can speak to at your school who will keep your information private. 
    • You may need time off from school, have bad grades, or wish to transfer schools, all of which we are here to help you with.
  • Housing
    • After the assault you may:
      • want to move or change your locks,
      • have problems with your landlord,
      • be facing eviction,
      • or need special accommodations
    • We are here to help you with these and other related needs.
  • Employment
    • Victims of sexual assault in the workplace or by a co-worker have certain rights.
    • We can help you with filing a discrimination complaint against your job with the federal or state government.
    • Whether the assault happened at work or by a co-worker, or is simply affecting your ability to keep going to work, you have options.
    • We can help you with time off, job transfers, unemployment benefits, and more.
  • Victim Compensation
    • Victims can apply for Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) from the State of Florida. 
    • The CVC program pays for victim-related costs such as disability, wage loss, medical and mental health expenses, emergency assistance, relocation, and loss of support. 
    • We can go through your options and help you with getting money from the CVC to cover your needs.
  • Immigration
    • If you are undocumented or your immigration status is at risk, and you have been the victim of sexual violence, we can help you apply for legal status or citizenship.
  • Terminating Parental Rights
    • If you had a child as the result of the sexual assault, and you do not want the perpetrator to have any rights to the child, we can help you with this. 
  • Victims’ Rights During the Criminal Case
    • Crime victims have rights.  If law enforcement and the prosecutor have decided to move forward with pressing criminal charges, you have certain rights throughout the process. Some examples include the right to:
      • have your information kept private and confidential
      • be told if the perpetrator is released from jail or prison 
      • talk to the prosecutor about how you feel about the charges and perpetrator’s plea or sentence
      • seek money to help with your recovery and expenses from the assault (known as “restitution”)
      • have a trained, sexual assault advocate with you, or go to court for you
      • tell the court about how the crime has affected you
      • get time off from work or school
      • and more. 
    • You have rights and we are here to help you understand them.
  • Injunctions (Restraining Orders)
    • Injunctions can help keep you safe by getting a Court to order that the perpetrator not come near you or communicate with you.
    • The Court may sometimes order other things at the hearing, for example:
      • money from the perpetrator to help you be able to continue to pay rent 
      • orders about child custody and visitation
    • If you file an injunction on your own, you will not be given a court appointed attorney (like a public defender).
    • We can help you prepare and file the paperwork for an Injunction. We may also be able to represent you at the injunction hearing.

Your privacy and safety are very important.  Being the victim of a sexual assault impacts your privacy and safety in all of these areas of legal needs.  We will work with you to make sure your privacy is best protected and safety is of utmost priority.

When you speak with our attorneys and victim advocate, your information will be confidential and will not be shared without your permission.

If the issue you need help with is not listed here, we may still be able to help you or refer you to someone who can, so do not hesitate to call us.* 

*FCASV does not take divorce, custody or other family law cases but we may be able to refer you to an attorney who does. We are also not criminal prosecutors and cannot press criminal charges or even force law enforcement or prosecutors to do so.  If you are concerned about how your criminal case is moving forward, we may still be able to help explain the process to you. Lastly, we are not civil tort attorneys, which means that we are not able to sue individuals or corporations for large sums of money, but again may be able to refer you to another attorney who may be able to take this kind of case.

Contact:

(850) 297-2000 or legal@fcasv.org.  Please expect a response within 2 business days. Our business hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. For immediate rape crisis assistance please contact the statewide information line at 1-888-956-RAPE.