The year 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have offered no reprieve for those who have experienced crime or violence. Amid all that has happened, our USF survivors continue to come forward seeking support from the Center for Victim Advocacy. Survivors are facing increased exposure to abusive partners at home, many have been cut off from their support systems, and a large population of survivors are feeling increased financial burdens because of lost employment. Our fund is designed to support the financial needs that arise for individuals who have experienced crime or violence. The goal is to ensure that no survivor must pay the related expenses.
who we are
The Center for Victim Advocacy provides free and confidential services to USF students, staff and faculty who have experienced any type of crime or violence. Our advocates are professionals trained to respond with compassion and expertise to the victims of crime and violence. This includes crisis intervention, advocacy and accompaniment, safety planning, academic and housing assistance and nonjudgmental support to victims to help them get through the experience and regain control of their lives.
An advocate can confidentially explore the circumstances of the crime with the victim and assist them in processing the emotions resulting from the event or situation. Advocates provide trauma-informed care and can help a survivor understand their reactions and feelings in relation to what has happened.
An advocate can meet with a victim to offer judgment free support, help them process their experience and regain control of their lives. The advocate will listen, empathize, and empower their client. An advocate will not force or pressure the client to discuss or disclose any information they are not comfortable sharing and will create a safe and accepting environment.
An advocate can also assist a client by exploring options, assessing for risk factors for increased violence, safety planning, and providing referrals to additional resources. Individual and emotional support by an advocate is not the same as counseling or therapy. The work with an advocate is focused on the healing process resulting from the crime, violence or abuse while counseling is focused on addressing mental health issues or diagnoses. Advocates help process and understand how the body and brain react to trauma in an effort to help their client move through the healing process.
More information about the Center for Victim Advocacy can be found here.
By donating to this fund, you help ensure that no survivor has to pay the costs associated with their victimization, providing them with a measure of relief.
what your gifts will do
Your gifts will allow our professional staff to assist survivors by:
• Purchasing new bedding for survivors of sexual violence who may have turned theirs into law enforcement as evidence.
• Purchasing new locks or paying for lock changes to increase safety for those experiencing relationship violence or stalking.
• Covering the cancellation fee at an apartment complex to allow someone the opportunity to relocate away from an abusive partner.
• Covering the costs of crime-related medical needs and transportation to and from law enforcement agencies and court.
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The above video includes footage recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the United States.
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