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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Sexual Violence Prevention

Contact the Violence and Injury Prevention Section

  •  850-245-4455
  •  

    Mailing Address

    Violence and Injury Prevention Section 

    4052 Bald Cypress Way 

    Bin A13 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399 

The definition of sexual violence is sexual activity when consent is not obtained or not freely given. It includes many forms, including sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and sexual assault, among others.

Preventing sexual violence is critical. After homicide, sexual violence is the most costly violent crime in the U.S., costing $122,461 per incident (2021, February 05. Preventing Sexual Violence | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/fastfact.html). However, experts believe this number is an underrepresentation, as many survivors of sexual assaults never report the crime. 

Survivors may feel ashamed or embarrassed and not want to tell anyone about what happened to them. Survivors may not realize the other ways the crime committed against them impacts their health and well-being. Consequences can include depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. Chronic health issues such as reproductive, gastrointestinal or cardiovascular problems may occur.

Also, sexual violence is connected to other forms of violence. Girls who are sexually abused are more likely to suffer physical violence and re-victimization later in life (Trickett PK, Noll JG, Putnam FW: The impact of sexual abuse on female development; lessons from a multigenerational, longitudinal research study. Development and Psychopathology. 2011: 23(2):453-476).

The Violence and Injury Prevention Section (VIPS) understands sexual violence is a public health issue and seeks to address it using community partners to implement the CDC STOP SV technical package.

Partners work together to implement the State Action Plan, which provides the path to sexual violence prevention using a comprehensive approach.

Four overlapping circles representing the four layers of the socioecological model:  individual, relationship, community and societal.

For more information, please visit the Centers for disease Control Website at:
https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/index.html

For more information please see the STOP Technical Package, here: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/SV-Prevention-Technical-Package.pdf

The VIPS contracts with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV) to administer the following federal funds:

  • The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control for Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) and Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) funds are utilized at the local level to implement strategies aligned with CDC’s STOP SV Technical Package. STOP SV includes programs, practices, and policies with evidence of impact on sexual violence victimization, perpetration, or risk factors for sexual violence. STOP SV subrecipients work on all levels of the socioecological model, with emphasis on the community and societal levels and strategies that address shared risk and protective factors to reduce multiple forms of violence.
  •  The U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women for the Sexual Assault Services Formula Grant Program (SASP) funding tis for the enhanced provision of sexual battery recovery services at certified rape crisis centers.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women for the Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (STOP) funds provide training and technical assistance to first responders at certified rape crisis centers, law enforcement agencies and allied professionals to improve the provision of the sexual battery recovery services for sexual assault victims.

The VIPS contracts with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence (FCASV) to administer the following state funds

  • The Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund (RCPTF) and General Revenue (GR) funding enhance the provision of sexual battery recovery services at certified rape crisis centers.
    The VIPS administers the following state funds:
  • VIPS contracts with the Palm Beach County Victim Services and Rape Crisis Center to provide a centralized, coordinated crisis response, to improve medical and mental health treatment of rape victims and to enhance the evidence collection process, and recurring general revenue funds to improve the provision of sexual battery recovery services for sexual violence victims. 
Victim Services
Domestic Violence
Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP)
Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund (RCPTF)
Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (STOP)

Victim Services

The VIPS funds rape crisis centers in Florida to provide the following services 24/7 to primary victims of sexual violence: crisis intervention, information and referral, advocacy and accompaniment, counseling, therapy, hotline services and support groups.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, call the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence’s (FCASV) toll-free hotline at 1-888-956-7273 or visit FCASV’s website at  www.FCASV.org.

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Domestic Violence

VIPS offers technical assistance to Departments of Health in local counties on safety planning, internal operating policy, training, and assistance in building ongoing collaborative partnerships with domestic violence centers. Medical studies link long-term effects of domestic violence and abuse with a myriad of major health problems including smoking, diabetes, obesity, eating disorders and substance abuse.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline toll-free at 1-800-500-1119 or visit https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/domestic-violence/.

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Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP)

The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Violence Against Women provides Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grant funding to the Department. The Department passes these funds to FCASV, who subcontracts the funds to eight certified rape crisis programs.

SASP provides funding for intervention, advocacy, accompaniment (e.g., accompanying victims to court, medical facilities, police departments, etc.), support services, and related assistance to:

  • Adult, youth, and child victims of sexual assault
  • Family and household members of such victims
  • Those collaterally affected by the victimization (e.g., friends,  coworkers, classmates), except for the perpetrator of such victimization
  • Support outreach and awareness activities to underserved populations

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Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund (RCPTF)

In 2003, the Florida legislature created the Sexual Battery Victims' Access to Services Act (F.S. 794.055) and the Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund (F.S. 794.056) in the Department of Health.

The Act creates a $151 ($1.00 for the court) surcharge on offenders convicted of sexual battery and other offenses including many of the aggravated battery and battery offenses. The RCPTF was created to accept collected fines, fees, and other funds designated for rape crisis services. The Department contracts with FCASV to distribute the trust fund monies to rape crisis centers throughout Florida. 64F-20.001 Distribution of Funds from the Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund.

The FCASV implements a certification program for certified rape crisis centers to ensure high-quality services are provided to sexual violence victims in Florida.  Five of the six core services, must be achieved to receive trust fund money and to be considered a certified rape crisis center.

Core Services

  1. 24/7 hotline services
  2. Information and referral
  3. Crisis intervention
  4. Advocacy and accompaniment services
  5. Community awareness
  6. System coordination
  7.  

Enhanced Services

  1. Support groups/personal growth groups
  2. Therapy
  3. Prevention/risk reduction education
  4. Medical intervention/forensic evidence collection
  5.  

Find your local rape crisis center.

See the Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund (RCPTF) Funding Formula.

See the General Revenue (GR) Funding Formula.

Annually, the VIPS provides a report to the Florida Legislature regarding the Rape Crisis Program Trust Fund.

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Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (STOP)

The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization ACT (VAWA), has improved the systemic response to sexual violence victims by funding intervention services. FCASV receives STOP funds to provide training and technical assistance to first responders at certified rape crisis centers, law enforcement agencies and allied professionals to improve the provision of the sexual battery recovery services for sexual assault victims.

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