Sexual Assault Services

The Victim Service Center of Central Florida, Inc. (VSC) operates the only Certified Rape Crisis Center for Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties in Florida.

Helpline Icon24/7 Sexual Assault Helpline: (407) 500 – HEAL

24-Hour Sexual Assault Helpline: VSC provides around the clock support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Through our 24-Hour Sexual Assault Helpline, you will be in immediate contact with a Sexual Assault Counselor who can provide crisis intervention, service options, and information on sexual assault.

Our Master’s level Victim Advocates provide around the clock emotional support through the 24/7 Crisis Helpline. Additionally, they support VSC clients with crisis care by teaching them grounding and coping skills to cope with their trauma while also providing information and referrals for legal issues, safety planning, or victim compensation. Victim Advocates will accompany clients to court for continued emotional support and extend these services to victims of sexual assault, violent crime, and traumatic circumstances. These services are available to victims and secondary victims of sexual assault, violent crime, or traumatic circumstances.

 

 

 

Recent Sexual Assault

Acute (within 5 days or 120 hours following the sexual assault): Services include immediate support and advocacy to both reporting and non-reporting victims of sexual assault. Services can include forensic evidence collection by a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) that occurs in our private facility which offers a calming home-like environment. A VSC crisis counselor will accompany the victim during the exam. All information provided to the crisis counselor is considered confidential per F.S. 90.5035. Services can be received regardless of whether a victim reports the crime to law enforcement.

  • Accompaniment for forensic collection/rape kit
  • In-person crisis intervention
  • Medical intervention
  • Information and referrals
  • Basic Needs including food, clothing, transportation, and hygiene needs
  • Safety Planning

Past Sexual Assault or Crime Victims

VSC offers services to any sexual assault victim and their family including:

  • Trauma informed crisis counseling services
  • Individualized support
  • Assistance with the criminal justice system
  • Information and referrals
  • Case management
  • Victim compensation application
  • Support groups
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Injunctions for protection

Forensics IconVSC is the certified Rape Crisis Center for Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.  In that role for Orange and Osceola Counties, our team of expert Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE’s) provide 24/7 on-call forensic examinations and medical services for victims ages 12 and older. On average, SANEs and crisis counselors respond in person within 60 minutes in Orange County and 75 minutes within Osceola County from the initial moment of contact.

 

 

 

First Steps After Sexual Assault 

Your safety is the top priority. If you are in danger, immediately call 911.

  • Once you’re out of physical danger, contact someone you know and trust, such as a friend, relative, teacher, school counselor, friend’s parent, doctor or supportive adult.
  • Call us for advice, support and help. We have trained, Master’s level crisis counselors available 24/7 to answer your questions and help you through the recovery process. You can reach us at 407-500-HEAL.
  • If you are under 18, tell a trusted adult. (But remember, not every adult may be able to help. You may need to tell more than one person before you find someone who can help.) It’s important to be aware: if you disclose your identity and location and that you are being harmed, the person you tell may be required by state law to alert authorities.
  • Your first instinct may be to take a shower and clean yourself. It is critical that you do not shower or bathe, brush your teeth, change your clothing, or wash your hands. If possible, do not go to the bathroom, eat, drink, or take medication unless it is necessary for your health. Your body and clothing may contain critical evidence if you choose to have a forensic examination.

Reporting to Law Enforcement/Police

You may consider reporting the attack to police. If you would like to report, call 911 or Victim Service Center through the 24/7 Helpline (407) 500-HEAL to begin.

  • While many survivors find pursuing justice an important part of their recovery process, only you can decide if it is the right choice for you. If you have questions about the process, call us at (407) 500-HEAL and we can explain your options and what to expect.
  • If you do plan to report the attack to police, or think there’s a chance you will want to in the future, write down all the details of the attack that you can remember — while the memory is still fresh.
  • A SANE will conduct your exam at our confidential location and then will supply copies of all pertinent forensic reports, immediately upon completion to the police agency responsible for investigating.
  • The evidence will be retrieved from this facility by the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • The evidence will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for processing. Evidence processing may take several months to complete, however, each case is unique.
  • If you do report: Some prosecutions end in a plea agreement, without trial, which means that the victim does not have to testify. However if your case does go to trial, you will generally have to testify. If you are worried about having to testify, let the police or prosecutor know about your concerns. They can explain the laws in your state and help you understand what might happen if you do go to trial.

Non-Reporting (Having a forensic exam without reporting to law enforcement/police)

  • While many survivors find pursuing justice an important part of their recovery process, only you can decide if it is the right choice for you. If you have questions about the process, call us at (407) 500-HEAL and we can explain your options and what to expect.
  • Even if you do not plan to report the attack to police, there might be a time in the future when you would like to, write down all the details of the attack that you can remember — while the memory is still fresh.
  • Even if you do not plan to report the attack to police, there might be a time in the future when you would like to, having a forensic exam done as soon as possible preserves options for you in the future while keeping your confidentially.
  • A SANE will conduct your exam at our confidential location and then the evidence will not be tested until the victim reports the incident to the police.
  • The evidence is stored as a non-report (under a number) in the Orange County Sheriff’s Office or Osceola County Sheriff’s Office depending on the jurisdiction and does not contain your name.
  • The statute of limitations on sexual battery varies by age, jurisdiction and circumstances. You can work with your Crisis Counselor following your sexual assault to make the best decision for you about reporting the assault. The choice will always be yours, the Crisis Counselor will simply provided you support and resources to make those decisions.

Medical Considerations After Sexual Assault

There are medical concerns that arise both immediately following the assault and much later. Even with no visible physical injuries, it is important to be tested for STIs and pregnancy.

  • VSC can provide you with free antibiotics for STIs as well as help you to arrange follow-up testing.
  • The Centers for Disease Control recommends post-exposure HIV prophylaxis for victims of sexual assault (prophylaxis is treatment meant to prevent, rather than treat or cure, a disease). VSC can provide you with referrals for testing.
  • CDC recommends follow-up testing as well as other blood tests to rule out HIV at two weeks, six weeks, three months and six months after an assault.
  • Rape, just like consensual intercourse, can lead to pregnancy. Therefore, it is important within the 120 hours following sexual assault to discuss options available from VSC to prevent pregnancy.

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

Orange County Office: (407) 254 – 9415

2111 East Michigan Street, 2nd Floor, Orlando, Florida, 32806

Office Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.,  Monday through Friday

*Forensics provided at a separate confidential location.

West Orange County Office: (407) 254 – 9415

Located in Shepherd’s Hope in Winter Garden, 455 9th St, Winter Garden, FL 34787

Office Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.,  Monday through Friday

*Forensics provided at a separate confidential location.

Osceola County Office: (407) 254 – 9415

110 West Neptune Road, Kissimmee, Florida, 34741

Availability between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. by appointment only.

*Forensics provided at a separate confidential location.

Seminole County Office: (407) 254-9415

Located in the Seminole County Department of Health, 400 W Airport Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773

Availability between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. by appointment only.

*Forensics provided at a separate confidential location.

Please note: The Victim Service Center provides significant protection of communications between a client and VSC staff. Clients are able to confide in VSC Victim Advocates, Therapists, and all VSC staff members, knowing that communication is confidential and will not be disclosed publicly unless they consent to such disclosure. For further information, please contact VSC directly.

The Victim Service Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and age in the delivery of services.