Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Will I be charged for the services provided at VEP?
A: No. The Victim Empowerment Program (“VEP”) provides services completely free of charge to the FIU community.
Q: Will my parents find out that I received services at VEP?
A: No. All information shared with VEP advocates remains confidential unless the student provides written consent for the information to be shared. If a concerned parent calls for information, we cannot confirm or deny that any specific person is receiving services.
Q: Will university records show that I received services at VEP?
A: No. VEP records are confidential and are not part of the academic records.
Q: Do I need a police report to receive services?
A: No. Police reports are not a requirement to receive services. However, our clients are always informed of their right to make a police report.
Q: Will I have to report a sexual assault to the police?
A: No. VEP trained advocates are available to provide assistance and guidance to victims of sexual assault whether the client chooses to report the crime or not. If the assailant is a student at F.I.U., another possible option is to file an incident report with the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
Q: Are services available only to students?
A: No. VEP services are available to current members of the F.I.U. community, which includes enrolled F.I.U. students, faculty and staff. Services are also available to university visitors if victimization occurred on F.I.U. campuses.
Q: If I am an international student, will I be able to receive services?
A: Yes. VEP provides services to all currently enrolled F.I.U. students, including international students. VEP does not discriminate on the basis of age, citizenship, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Q: If my victimization occurred in the past, can the VEP still help me?
A: Yes. VEP trained advocates are available to provide services related to both present and past victimizations.
Q: Can VEP help me if I am in a same-sex relationship?
A: Yes. VEP is an ally of the LBGTQ community and provides services to all members of the F.I.U. community without exception. VEP does not discriminate on the basis of age, citizenship, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Q: I think I am in an abusive relationship. How can VEP help?
A: VEP advocates can help with identifying the qualities of a healthy relationship and the features of an abusive relationship. Oftentimes, actual physical abuse may not be present, but severe emotional abuse is always a part of an abusive relationship. VEP advocates can help with providing options, support and safety planning whether or not someone is ready to leave an abusive relationship.
Q: I missed an assignment/class due to victimization. Can VEP help me?
A: Yes. VEP advocates can provide assistance with requesting accommodations from professors in order to help ensure a successful academic term.
Q: Is VEP available on nights and weekends?
A: Yes. VEP advocates are available nights and weekends for emergencies. They can be reached at (305) 348-3000. However, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.
Q: What if I was victimized outside of campus? Can the VEP still help?
A: Yes. VEP provides services to all FIU community members regardless of the location of the assault.
Q: I am being challenged academically because of a recent victimization. Can the VEP help?
A: Oftentimes, VEP advocates can provide assistance with requesting accommodations from professors in order to help ensure a successful academic term.
Q: I am being stalked and/or harassed by another student but I don’t want to get a restraining order. How can VEP help?
A: All students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct as stated in the FIU Student Handbook. An FIU student who violates the FIU Student Code of Conduct may be subject to disciplinary action. An advocate can explain the process further and provide assistance if you choose to file an incident report.
Q: Someone I know is being victimized and it’s affecting me. Can VEP help?
A: Yes. It is normal to be affected by actual or threatened violence, even if you are not the direct target. This secondary trauma can interfere with normal functioning and concentration. VEP advocates also provide services to secondary victims.
Q: I have a friend who has been victimized. Can I bring them to VEP to receive services?
A: If your friend is an FIU student, he/she is qualified to receive services at VEP. However, if your friend is not an FIU member, VEP advocates can recommend appropriate community resources. You may also want to consider seeking services at VEP, since it is normal to be affected by problems that friends and/or relatives are having. This can affect your normal functioning and concentration. VEP advocates can provide services to help with this secondary trauma. VEP advocates can also provide information and guidance on ways to help your friend.
Q: I am a part-time student. Can I receive services?
A: Yes. All FIU members, including full and part-time enrolled students, faculty, staff and university visitors are eligible to receive services at VEP.
Q: I attend the Biscayne Bay Campus. Can the VEP help me?
A: Yes. VEP serves BBC campus members, as well as Engineering campus members. Please call 305-348-1215 for an appointment, or the 24-hour crisis hotline if immediate assistance is needed. If there is immediate danger, dial 911.
Q: Is VEP available for awareness presentations?
A: Yes. VEP trained peer educators are available to make presentations. If you are interested in having our presenters in your class or event, please fill out a request on our website main page, or call (305) 348-1215.