Victim Advocacy

COVID-19 Update

Victim Advocacy services are still available to students. Please call (616)-331-2742 or e-mail Rachel Dziabuda directly at [email protected]  

Meetings can also be held over phone or video conferencing. 

This can be an incredibly difficult and isolating time for victim/survivors. We are here to support you.

Get Help Now

Contact Our Victim Advocate for Support

Victim Advocate Contact: Rachel Dziabuda

Office: 1201 Kirkhof Center - located in the Center for Women and Gender Equity

Phone: (616)-331-2742

Email: [email protected]

*If you have experienced a sexual assault in the past 120 hours (5 days) you can have a medical forensic exam (commonly known as a rape kit), if you would like.

  • These programs are free and are conducted by a specially trained nurse.
  • You are able to have an exam done even if you do not want to report to law enforcement.
  • The YWCA in Grand Rapids ((616) 454-9922) and Resilience: Advocates for Ending Violence ((616) 392-1970) in Holland provide exams to survivors regardless of their gender. See contact information and programs.

Advocacy and Prevention

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 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.

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

You have options, and you are not alone. Services through the victim advocate are available Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  To set up a time to speak with an advocate, please call (616) 331-2748 or email [email protected], or contact 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 8 a.m.-5 p.m.),  YWCA confidential 24-hour Crisis Hotline at (616) 776-RAPE (7273), GVSU Police at (616) 331-3255 or for an emergency dial 911.

Additionally, the Victim Advocate or Co-advocates can meet in alternative meeting space on campus, by request.

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.

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:

1.     Call the Center for Women & Gender Equity at 616-331-2748. A student worker will the answer the phone.

2.     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.

3.     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.

4.     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.

5.     You will be asked to take a seat and the advocate will be notified that you have arrived.

6.     An advocate will show you back to their office where you are able to share with an advocate as they are a private resource.

Advocacy and Prevention Resources

Grand Valley State University Police Department (616-331-3255) is able to meet with you to talk through your reporting options or to file a police report. They are able to meet with you at the Police Department (Facilities Services Building) or another location where you feel comfortable. You are able to bring a support person with you. In case of an emergency call 911.

Grand Valley takes instances of gender-based violence very seriously. Below are links to Grand Valley’s policies in regards to sexual misconduct and sexual or gender-based harassment.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment Policy

Grand Valley State University is committed to creating and advancing a campus community where you feel empowered to raise concerns, ask for help, or learn about your options before making any decisions. If you have experienced, witnessed, been impacted by sexual misconduct (sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), harassment, or discrimination, or impacted by an allegation, staff in the Office for Title IX and Institutional Equity (TIXIE) can assist in finding the options that feel right for you.


TIXIE staff are also aware that your concerns may be of a sensitive nature and can offer support to help you.  TIXIE staff are available to discuss resources, supportive measures, options for resolution, and GVSU's prohibition of retaliation against individuals for filing a report or for participating in a resolution process.


Contact information: 

Office for Title IX and Institutional Equity
4015 James H. Zumberge Hall
(616) 331-9530


The University Counseling Center (616-331-3266) is free for students and is located on both the Allendale and Pew Campus. Individual and group counseling is available.

Key Terms

The language used in Title IX and our Policy & Procedures can be lengthy and complicated. Here is a key terms document to help! 

Policy & Procedures

GVSU's Policy Prohibiting Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, & Sexual Misconduct can be found here. This policy includes sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, & sexual exploitation.

Page last modified August 10, 2021