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Alex Bass

Interview Questions
Alec, here are some questions I have came up with in regards to my research
1. Working in victims advocacy, what type of crimes were reported most?
a. Sexual Violence(Most reported)
b. Domestic Violence
c. Stalking
2. My research topic regards rape victims specifically and how they are
the most under-reported crimes, especially on college campuses; did
you have students report their own incidents of rape?
a. Rape is called Sexual Battery in the state of Florida.
b. Yes, within the center for victim advocacy most of the students
who reported rape did so on their own or through the assistance
of a friend or significant other bringing them to the advocacy
c. I think apart of the issue is that universities treat rape as a crime
to be swept under the rug and most do not even have victim
advocacy centers on campus. I believe that universities need
more programs centered around ending sexual violence by
teaching rapists not to rape and by giving students the tools to
call their friends out when they do things that reinforce rape
culture and negative stereotypes. Essentially instead of teaching
women how not to get raped, we should be teaching the rapists
not to commit rape and recover their power in more constructive
3. What services do you provide to sexual assault victims?
a. Crisis Intervention
b. Emotional Support
c. Personal and Systems Advocacy
d. Court Accompaniment
e. Information, Options, and Referrals
f. Victim Helpline
g. Safety Planning
h. Prevention and Education Presentations
i. Assistance filing:
i. Police Report
ii. Injunction for Protection
iii. Crime Victim's Compensation Claim
iv. Sexual Harassment Complaint

4. Rape victims already feel stripped of their privacy and control, how do
you guide them to trust you and feel like they are getting those
qualities of life back?
a. I was trained as a victim practitioner by the state of Florida and
therefore was not able to actually see clients. While in the office I
was taught how the advocates help a student who has been the
victim of rape. The number one thing is to let the student know
that the victim advocacy office is a confidential space. Also
important is to let them know that there are some things, like
statutory rape, that even a confidential party must report. Above
all else the key is to allow the students to choose their own path
to recovery with the guidance and support of the victim
advocate. Generally the first thing a victim of rape feels is
stripped of their control and it is important to give that back to
them. By allowing the survivor to create their own plan for
healing it gives them back some of the power that was stolen
from them.
5. Safety is a serious issue with rape victims, how can you ensure safety
for them?
a. This is always a difficult one because you can only guarantee
safety while they are in the office. Sadly you cannot ensure
safety because you cannot lock them in a bubble away from the
world, but what you can do is offer comfort and support through
the process. In a residence life environment it is easiest if the
two parties can be separated and even moved out of the same
residence hall which is generally doable. One way to aid in the
safety outside of the office is to help the survivor create a safety
plan. Working with them to make sure they have so people they
trust and can call in the event of an emergency or in the feeling
of not being safe, finding a new place to live, switching residence
halls, changing class sections, and other things. The victim
advocates in the office will also accompany students to court and
will help them fill out injunctions for a restraining order.
6. A main focus on my topic is how the criminal justice system treats
sexual assault victims, and how these victims cant confide in the
system. Do you encourage victims to report their incidents to the
system or receive help in other ways?
a. I do encourage victims to report and to speak out against sexual
violence if their voice will allow it. The problem with rape, sexual
battery, is that the threat of other people seeing them as
damaged or of being seen as less than is a real fear. I also
understand that a survivor may not wish to speak out about what
has been done to them, and I still encourage them to talk to
someone about it. I would prefer it be a professional victim
advocate, but a trusted friend can also help ease the weight of
keeping such a heavy secret. The criminal justice system knows

that approximately 90% of rapes are committed by someone the

victim has met. The defense attorneys use this by calling it date
rape to lessen the severity of the crime.
7. A common issue with these victims is the lack of knowledge of their
own rights, does your institution inform victims of their rights of
a. Yes, at my previous institution, the University of South Florida,
they have a small brochure that outlines the rights of students
and of the rights of survivors. This brochure is given to every
student that comes in, regardless of the crime being reported.
b. Another thing USF does well is their REAL (Relationship Equality
and Anti-violence League) program. Which offers peer to peer
sexual violence prevention and bystander intervention training in
a one hour presentation. This program highlights the office of
victim advocacy and teaches students how to take a stand to
end sexual violence and help create social change against rape
8. 8. Do you believe in reparative justice and compensation of victims?
Victims themselves argue that they cannot be compensated for the
traumatic damage that has already taken place.
a. I believe in the state of Florida there is a fund for survivors of
rape and of domestic violence to assist with relocation and for
time lost working. It does not say sexual battery as a
requirement, but it does say that crimes that are reported in 72
hours and show physical harm and sometimes psychological
b. I think the issue is the time table the law has outlined for
reporting the crime. Most rapes are never reported and some are
not reported for weeks, even years.
9. Another point of view when addressing rape victims is yes they have a
right to privacy, but when it comes to the media, they have the right to
free speech and free press; for example, releasing the offender and the
victims name. Which point of you do you support?
a. Not as a representative for the University of South Florida or
Texas A&M University - Commerce, I do believe that names to the
media should be withheld of the victim because in any case that
is ongoing the names cannot be released to the media because it
would hurt the investigation. I think the issue is when it becomes
a manhunt and they need to release the offenders name to get
them to come in.
b. The bigger issue is the judicial system and how it treats rape
cases. To the benefit of defense lawyers; they know that rape is
hard to prove without physical evidence and once it ends up in
court is mostly seen as hearsay.

c. Its not what you know, its what you can prove in court.Gerard Butler, Law Abiding Citizen
10. Sexual assault has detrimental effects on these people, does
your institution have ways (similar to therapy) to address their feelings
a. At USF there is the center for victim advocacy and the counseling
center. The counseling center has a limit of 6 visits, I am not sure
if it is per year or lifetime. The Center for Victim Advocacy will
also see students on a continual basis as long as they are a
student at the university until the advocates believe that they
are no longer helping the student, and then they may be referred
to an outside entity and still allowed to schedule.
b. Both offices come from a place of wanting to help students and
spend a lot of time outside of the office showing support for
events like Walk a Mile in her Shoes and Take Back the Night.