Victim Advocacy at Grand Valley State University
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center - located in the Center for Women & Gender Equity
What is an advocate?
Grand Valley State University offers victim advocacy to all members of the University community. The role of the Victim Advocate is to provide nonjudgmental, private support to student survivors of gender-based violence which plays a critical role in the healing process of a victim/survivor. The Victim Advocate provides private support in that they will not release personally identifiable information without consent. This means that talking with Ashley, as our Victim Advocate, DOES NOT start a formal misconduct or criminal process, unless you want to access those options. The Victim Advocate is trained to help students navigate options and services on campus and in the community.
What does an advocate do?
Advocates are available to respond to student survivors of gender-based violence with empathetic support and options. As an advocate, we can provide support over the phone or in person. Available support includes:
- Referrals to counseling and other supportive services on campus and in the community
- Education about medical options and procedures, including evidence collection
- Information about and referrals to legal advocacy, including Personal Protection Orders
- Assistance in reporting an assault to Campus Police, if you choose
- Support and advocacy in navigating GVSU sexual misconduct system, if you choose
- Support and advocacy in participating in a Title IX investigation
- Support and advocacy about academic and housing options
- Assistance for significant others and friends of victim/survivors of gender/based violence
How can I reach the advocate?
You have options, and you are not alone. Services through the victim advocate are available Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. To set up a time to speak with an advocate, please call 616-331-2748 or email one of our Co-Advocates. If the Victim Advocate is unavailable and you need to speak to someone right away, please call GVSU Counseling Center at 616-331-3266 (Monday-Friday 8am-5pm), YWCA confidential 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 776-RAPE (7273), GVSU Police at 616-331-3255 or for an emergency dial 911.
Additionally, Co-advocates can meet in alternative meeting space on campus, by request.
Who can contact an advocate?
Any member of the Grand Valley State University community can contact the Victim Advocate on campus. Victim/survivors can contact a co-advocate or the victim/survivor may have someone reach out on their behalf.
What can you expect?
Advocates provide private support. This means that talking with an advocate DOES NOT start a formal judicial or criminal process unless you want to access those options. To set up a time to speak with an advocate, you can expect the following:
- Call the Center for Women & Gender Equity at 616-331-2748. A student worker will the answer the phone.
- Inform the student worker that you are a GVSU student and that you would like to set up a time to meet with an advocate to discuss a "private matter." You have control over whether or not you share your name or any other information.
- Based on your availability you will work with the student worker to be scheduled to meet with an advocate as soon as they are available Monday-Friday between 8am-5pm.
- When you arrive at the Center for Women & Gender Equity for your meeting with the advocate check in with the student worker at the front desk informing them that you have a meeting schedule with a co-advocate - You may bring a friend/partner with you.
- You will be asked to take a seat and the advocate will be notified that you have arrived.
- An advocate will show you back to their office where you are able to share with an advocate as they are a private resource.