The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to helping victims of crime. It is our goal to ensure that crime victims are treated with respect and dignity. With that aim in mind, Sheriff Mike Prendergast runs the Victim Resource Advocate Program. An advocate is there to help the victim move through the complex criminal justice system as easily as possible. Victim advocates:
- Provide on-scene crisis counseling to victims and family members
- Inform victims of their rights in the criminal justice system.
- Provide criminal justice support and attend court hearings/depositions at victims request
- Explain legal process to victims
- Assist victims with applying for Victim Compensation
- Refer victims to local social service organizations
You can contact a Victim Advocate by calling 352-726-4488.
- Does the Sheriff's Office control who gets compensated?
- No. Victim Compensation is run through the Office of the Attorney General and your eligibility to receive compensation is determined by the Bureau of Victim Compensation. The advocates at the Sheriff's Office help people complete and submit the application and will assist with following up on the status of a completed claim. They can educate you on the eligibility requirements associated with the type of costs you are seeking reimbursement for.
- Do I make too much money to apply for Victim Compensation?
- There is no income check or requirements for Victim Compensation
- What kinds of things do they pay?
- You can apply for medical bills/expenses, wage loss, counseling, disability, domestic violence and sexual battery relocation, grief counseling, loss of support and funeral expenses.
- Don't I get restitution from the offender?
- If you receive compensation through Victim Compensation, restitution will be paid by the offender back to the Victim Compensation fund. Anything not covered by Victim Compensation can be ordered as restitution to the victim when the offender is sentenced.
Victim advocates at the Sheriff's Office can assist you with applying for Victim Compensation and answer any questions you have about your case and your eligibility.
Signs of Domestic Violence
Does your partner:
- Force you to have sex?
- Make you feel worthless and put you down constantly?
- Control who you associate with or where you go?
- Stalk you or monitor your calls/text?
- Constantly accuse you of cheating or being unfaithful?
- Isolate you?
- Hit, slap, choke or push you?
- Threaten to harm you or threaten you with weapons?
- Threaten to hurt themselves if you leave the relationship?
- Control your access to money? Or prevent you from working?
If you have been a victim of domestic violence or recognize these signs, you are not alone and it is not your fault. Reach out to one of our advocates or the Citrus Abuse Shelter Association (CASA) through their 24/7 hotline at 352-344-8111. The victim advocates at the Sheriff's Office can assist with linking you to services at CASA, providing referrals to counseling, obtaining an injunction for protection, and attending any court appearances you may have.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office also has two Domestic Violence Detectives to provide follow-up investigations on domestic violence reports. These positions are funded by a grant through the Florida Coalition of Domestic Violence. The goal of these positions is to promote victim safety and hold offenders accountable. These detectives investigate cases involving domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. If you are a victim of domestic violence, call 911 or the non-emergency line at 352-726-1121.