2A-2.015. Sexual Battery Relocation Assistance  


Effective on Wednesday, December 11, 2019
  • 1(1) To be eligible for sexual battery relocation assistance, the victim must contact and application be made through a certified representative in the State of Florida at a rape crisis center certified by the Florida Counsel Against Sexual Violence. A BVC106RS Sexual Battery Relocation Certification Worksheet from the rape crisis center must accompany the application BVC100 Bureau of Victim Compensation Claim Form for assistance. Failure to submit a properly completed certification worksheet will result in denial of benefits. The BVC100 Bureau of Victim Compensation Claim Form and BVC106RS Sexual Battery Relocation Certification Worksheet shall be mailed to the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation, PL-01, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32299-1050; faxed to (850)414-6197 or (859)414-5779, emailed to 121VCIntake@myfloridalegal.com, 122or submitted via the department’s web portal. Failure to submit a properly completed certification will result in denial of benefits. The application entitled BVC100 Bureau of Victim Compensation Claim Form is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(1), F.A.C. The BVC106RS Sexual Battery Relocation Certification Worksheet is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(3), F.A.C.

    171(2) A certified rape crisis center representative is one who has completed specialized 184training provided by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation and is authorized to assist the victim in filing a claim for sexual battery relocation assistance. Rape crisis center representatives are qualified to certify applications up to two years after completion of specialized training. Training certification is withdrawn when the crisis center representative resigns or is terminated from their existing position.

    248(3) The 106RS Sexual Battery Relocation Certification Worksheet shall include the victim’s name and date of birth; the applicant’s name and date of birth, if different from the victim; the last four digits of the victim/applicant’s social security number for authentication purposes; and the certified rape crisis center representative’s name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and fax number.

    307(4) Filing Time. For sexual battery crimes occurring before October 1, 2019, applications must be received within one year after the crime, or within two years after the crime with good cause shown. For sexual battery crimes occurring on or after October 1, 2019, applications must be received within three years after the crime, or within five years with good cause shown. When an application for relocation is received later than the filing time required, the victim/applicant must provide a good cause explanation for the late filing. 394Alternatively, BVC102 Filing Time Explanation Form, which is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(10), F.A.C., may be used by the victim/applicant in lieu of submitting other written good cause explanation.

    422(a) Good cause is demonstrated when the record shows the victim/applicant was pursuing other means of recourse; when the victim/applicant was not emotionally, mentally, or physically able to file the claim; when the victim/applicant was unaware that a compensation program exists; 463or when a language or cultural barrier hinders the access needed to timely file the claim479.

    480(b) 481A victim who was under the age of 18 at the time of crime has one year or two years with good cause shown after turning 18 years of age for the department to receive their application for crimes occurring before October 1, 2019. For crimes occurring on or after October 1, 2019, a victim who was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime has three years or five with good cause shown after turning 18 years of age for the department to receive their application.

    571(c) No explanation is acceptable for claims filed more than two years after the occurrence for crimes occuring before October 1, 2019, or five years after the occurence for crimes on or after October 1, 2019, unless Section 609960.07(3) 610or 611960.07(4) F.S., 613applies.

    614(5) Reporting Time. 617For crimes occurring before October 1, 2019, the crime must be reported to the 631proper authority within 72 hours after the crime is known to have occurred. 644For crimes occurring on or after October 1, 2019, the crime must be reported to the proper authority within 120 hours after the crime is known to have occurred. 673When an application for relocation is received later than the filing time required, the victim/applicant must provide a good cause explanation for the late filing.  698Alternatively, BVC102 Filing Time Explanation Form, which is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(10), F.A.C., may be used by the victim/applicant in lieu of submitting other written good cause explanation.

    726(a) 727Good cause is demonstrated when the record shows the victim/applicant was unaware that a crime had occurred; the victim believed that the proper authorities had already been notified; the victim was not in the vicinity to report the incident to the proper authorities in the manner in which the proper authorities directed; there was no knowledge that a crime was committed prior to reporting the incident to the proper authorities; when the victim/applicant was not emotionally, mentally, or physically able to report the incident; when the victim/applicant believed that the proper authorities had been contacted and a report was filed; when the victim is/was a minor at the time of the incident; when the victim/applicant expressed feelings of shame, remorse, or embarrassment which prevented them from contacting the proper authorities; fear of retaliation or retribution by the offender, the offender’s family, or the offender’s acquaintances which was communicated to the proper authorities; or when a language or cultural barrier precludes effective communication with the proper authorities.

    893(6) The BVC106RS Sexual Battery Relocation Certification Worksheet requires the victim to:

    905(a) Provide a brief summary describing how funding would be used to execute the safety measures outlined in their safety plan;

    926(b) Identify how the relocation assistance funds will be used by specifying the dollar amount requested for compensable relocation assistance expenses;

    947(c) Certify that he or she will comply with Section 957960.199, F.S., 959and verify understanding that criminal prosecution for fraud under Section 969960.18, F.S., 971may be pursued if he or she makes false representations to receive money;

    984(d) Affirm that they have created a safety plan with a center representative which includes using the funds to relocate to a safe environment;

    1008(e) Duly swear to cooperate with the proper authorities including but not limted to the state attorney, statewide and federal prosecutors, all law enforcement agencies, and the department. Acceptable good cause explanations for not cooperating with the investigating and prosecuting agencies are as follows:

    10521. The victim has already moved outside the geographical vicinity where he or she resided at the time of the crime and has no means of providing sworn testimony by phone or in person,

    10862. The victim is in fear of the offender and this fear has been communicated to law enforcement or the Assistant State Attorney from the outset,

    11123. A language barrier precludes effective communication with proper authorities, or

    11234. Child victims of sexual battery crimes whose guardian fails to cooperate.

    1135(f) Affirm that he or she is not currently residing with the offender;

    1148(g) 1149Certify that the request to the department for relocation assistance is a last resort that follows all other funding sources;

    1169(h) Submit receipts, via email 1174to 1175VCIntake@myfloridalegal.com, 1176or 1177via fax to (850)414-6197 or (850)414-5779, which must be received by the department within 45 days from the date the payment was issued;

    1200(i) Verify that the sexual battery was committed in the victim’s place of residence or in a location that would lead the victim to reasonably fear for his or her continued safety in the place of residence;

    1237(j) Accept the funds at the center within 30 days of payment issuance;

    1250(k) Affirm understanding that a determination of claim eligibilty constitutes an award for the amount certified up to the maximum specified on the Schedule of Benefits located in subsection 12792A-2.002, 1280F.A.C., and will count toward the maximum lifetime benefit amount established pursuant to Section 1294960.199(1), F.S.

    1296(l) Acknowledge that the department shall deny, reduce, or withdraw any award if receipts are not received by the department within 45 days of payment issuance, if receipts do not reflect compensable relocation assistance expenses or if the victim fails to cooperate with proper authorities; and

    1342(m) Affirm understanding that monies paid on any award which is denied, reduced, or withdrawn pursuant to this subsection must be repaid to the department. Any outstanding unpaid amounts will be deducted from any future relocation awards.

    1379(7) Proof of a sexual battery crime must come from a proper authority. A BVC430 Law Enforcement Information Reporting Form may be used instead of a complete law enforcement report to prove a crime occurred. The BVC430 Law Enforcement Reporting Form contains a checklist of the eligibility criteria and shortened narrative detailing the incident, and is available only from the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation. 1448The BVC430 Law Enforcement Information Reporting Form is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(9), F.A.C.

    1461(8) The law enforcement report or information from the Assistant State Attorney identifying a crime was committed that meets the definition of Section 1484794.011, F.S., 1486is required for a claim to be found eligible. Only sexual battery crimes will be considered compensable for purposes of this benefit.

    1508(9) It is the responsibility of the center representative to obtain and review personal identification documentation before certifying a victim’s need for assistance. The center is not required to forward any personal identification documentation to the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation.

    1553(10) By certifying the victim’s need for relocation assistance using the BVC106RS Sexual Battery Relocation Certification Worksheet, the rape crisis center representative must:

    1576(a) Notify the victim/applicant about all applicable rules and regulations, and that failure to comply with those requirements shall result in a denial of the award;

    1602(b) Certify the application meets the requirements of Section 1611960.199, F.S.;

    1613(c) Verify that the crime incident was identified by the proper authorities as a sexual battery defined by Section 1632794.011, F.S.;

    1634(d) Verify that the victim is in need of relocation assistance based on a reasonable fear for their continued safety at their current residence due to the sexual battery crime;

    1664(e) Verify that the victim is cooperating with the proper authorities which includes the state attorney in investigating and prosecuting known offenders;

    1686(f) Affirm that the victim/applicant provided personal identification documentation which was reviewed prior to certifying the application;

    1703(g) Verify that the victim has developed a safety plan;

    1713(h) Acknowledge understanding that they or another representative must witness the victim’s acceptance of payment and forward a signed Notification of Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form to the department; and,

    1744(i) Verify that they have notified the victim/applicant that if funds are awarded, he/she must accept the funds at the center within 30 days of payment issuance. If the payment is not collected, they authorize the department to rescind eligibility and revoke their certification of that application.

    1791(11) If approved, the award will be made payable to the victim as a reimbursement or advance based on written estimate provided on the certification worksheet. Payments will be forwarded to the respective certified rape crisis center. Awards will be administered based on the availability of funds. The department shall determine how those funds are disbursed. Monies paid may be made in the form of a bank card, voucher, check, electronic transmittal, state warrant, or any other method approved by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation.

    1881(12) A certified rape crisis center representative must witness the acceptance of payment. The certified representative will be responsible for having the victim acknowledge and sign a notification of possible recoupment before providing the award to the victim. 1919The BVC421RS Notification of Possible Recoupment and/or Prosecution for Fraud Form is incorporated in subsection 2A-2.017(6), F.A.C., and reiterates the importance of utilizing funds for approved expenditures in accordance with the obligations acknowledged on the certification worksheet. The following must be signed by the victim/applicant:

    1964(a) The victim/applicant acknowledges understanding that they must comply with the obligations set forth in Section 1980960.199, F.S.;

    1982(b) The victim/applicant agrees that they will fully comply with the requests of proper authorities and will cooperate with prosecuting known offenders, and that failure to cooperate will result in a denial of eligibility and a withdrawal of the award;

    2022(c) The victim/applicant agrees to submit receipts for approved expenses which must be received by the department within 45 days from payment issuance. Efforts to recoup the monies will be initiated if the necessary documentation is not received by the department within 45 days from payment issuance;

    2069(d) The victim/applicant is aware that the victim/applicant will be required to repay any monies for which receipts are not timely received, or if the victim fails to cooperate with proper authorities as required in paragraph (b), 2106above;

    2107(e) The victim/applicant understands that no additional benefits of any type can be approved by the department until the award authorized for the purpose of relocating is verified by proper submission of compensable relocation assistance receipts;

    2143(f) The victim/applicant agrees to spend the award for approved relocation assistance expenses;

    2156(g) The victim/applicant is aware that they will face possible criminal prosecution for fraud under Section 2172960.18, F.S., 2174if they have made false representations to receive the money or use the funds for purposes other than relocating as identified on their safety plan are proven:

    2201(h) The victim/applicant acknowledges receipt of the funds in the amount of the payment as approved by the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Victim Compensation; and

    2229(i) The victim/applicant acknowledges that any monies which are not repaid pursuant to this subsection will be deducted against any future relocation awards.

    2252(13) If the victim has not accepted the funds at the center within 30 days of issue, the center shall return the funds to the department and certification will be revoked. Upon receipt of the returned funds by the department, eligibility will be rescinded.

    2296Rulemaking Authority 2298960.045(1)(b) FS. 2300Law Implemented 2302960.199 FS. 2304History–New 11-19-12, Amended 10-1-14, 2-29-16, 5-20-19, 12-11-19.