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Meet Sarika Griffin, FAMU’s new victim advocate

By Bleu Bell | Staff Reporter
On April 22, 2019

New victim advocate Sarika Griffin can be found in the Division of Student Affairs
Photo Submitted by Bleu Bell

Florida A&M is making great strides towards supporting student success, including filling the
new victim advocate position with a seasoned mental health professional with four and a half
years of experience in the field.

Sarika Griffin was hired in late March and is located in the Division of Student Affairs below the
Grand Ballroom. Her duty is to advocate and provide support resources for anyone in the
university community who has been a victim of actual or threatened violence.

“I feel like it’s a fantastic opportunity to provide support services to students, faculty and staff
at Florida A&M University. I'm able to use my skills learned throughout my career and develop
a program that will benefit the college community,” Griffin said.

While working on her degree in psychology at the University of North Florida, she trained to
become an on-call victim advocate and peer educator for the University of North Florida
Women's Center. After graduating from UNF, she severed as an advocacy fellow for the Delores
Barr Weaver Policy Center in Jacksonville. During the year-long fellowship, she learned how to
advocate for the rights of girls who are involved or in danger of becoming involved in the
juvenile justice system and how trauma influenced their path.

After the completion of her fellowship, Griffin came to Tallahassee to pursue a master’s in
social work at Florida State University.

“I am very proud of my HBCU for taking this crucial step and hiring an advocate,” said STEM
student Tiye Garrett-Mills. “This is long overdue. It’s a step in the right direction, but I’d like to
see even more done.”

Griffin is the first in this position at FAMU from FSU where she was an on-call victim advocate.
FSU has three main victim advocate positions and five on-call victim advocates.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, about 1 in 6 college-aged female
survivors receive assistance from a victim services agency. More than 50 percent of college
sexual assaults occur in August, September, October or November and students are at
increased risk during their first and second semesters in college.

FAMU has a victim advocate in the Counseling Center who serves in a dual capacity as a victim
advocate and provider of mental health counseling to students. The university established this
new position that will focus solely on providing advocacy, crisis intervention, emotional
support, education and referrals to campus and community resources.

Other services Griffin provides are crisis intervention, documentation of victimization for school
and/or employment, assistance in completing victim impact statements, accompaniment to
SAFE Center, hospital, court, and informational Title IX and Student Conduct meetings and
educational presentations and materials.

Griffin is available to table events and give presentations upon request with a two-week notice.
She can be contacted at and 850-412-5667.


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