Victim Advocacy

Rachel Dziabuda

Rachel Dziabuda, Victim Advocate

Victim Advocate: Rachel Dziabuda (she/her, they/them)
Office Address: 1201 Kirkhof Center - located in the Center for Women & Gender Equity
Phone: (616) 331-2742
Email: [email protected]

As the victim advocate, I am here to support you. Experiencing violence, whether it is sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and/or harassment can be incredibly difficult. Victim/Survivors are of all backgrounds: ages, genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, faiths, ages, abilities, etc. Know that I believe you and that you are not alone. On this website, you will find a plethora of resources and options. It is ALWAYS your choice to choose what options are best for you. You are the expert on your story. My job is to listen to your story, provide you with options and resources, and support you with whatever choices you make. As a private resource on campus, you do not have to report to law enforcement to meet with me. My door is always open and I am here for you.


What is a Co-Advocate?
A Co-Advocate is a role specific to GVSU. Co-Advocates at Grand Valley are professional staff members or faculty that participate in ongoing training to work closely with the Victim Advocate in order to provide additional non-judgmental, confidential support to survivors of gender-based violence. All Co-Advocates have received extensive training from the Victim Advocate and Violence Prevention & Education Coordinator to work with survivors of gender-based violence. The Co-Advocates on campus have full-time positions elsewhere and spend some of their time working with individuals in this capacity. Co-Advocates are specially trained to help students navigate options and services on campus and in the community.

Click here to meet the Co-Advocates

How to Schedule an Appointment

There are a few different ways to schedule an appointment with the Victim Advocate. 

  • Option 1: Call the CWGE at (616)-331-2748 and ask to set up an appointment with the Victim Advocate. A student worker will answer the phone and will be able to schedule the appointment for you.
  • Option 2: Email or call the Victim Advocate directly at [email protected] or (616)-331-2742
  • Option 3: Click on this link to schedule an appointment online. 

Appointments are highly encouraged, as the Victim Advocate may not always be available for walk-in appointments.

Sexual Assault Medical Exams

SANE exams (Sexual Assault Nurses Exams), sometimes referred to as Rape Kits, can be performed at the YWCA in Grand Rapids and Resilience in Holland for up to 120 hours (5 days) after an assault. SANE exams can address any injuries, and receive treatment for the possibility of pregnancy and/or contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For more information, please visit the YWCA website or the Resilience website.

Advocacy FAQ's

What is an Advocate?

The role of the Victim Advocate is to provide nonjudgmental, confidential support to student survivors of gender-based violence which plays a critical role in the healing process of a victim/survivor. The Victim Advocate does not report any incidents of gender-based violence to Title IX and/or GVPD. Meeting with our Victim Advocate, DOES NOT start a formal misconduct or criminal process, unless you want to access those options. Likewise, you do not need to have a formal report filed in order to meet with the Victim Advocate. The Victim Advocate is trained to help students navigate options and services on campus and in the community. Grand Valley State University offers victim advocacy to all members of the University community.

Advocates are available to respond to student survivors of gender-based violence with empathetic support and options. The Victim Advocate can provide support in-person, on Zoom, or over the phone. Available support includes (but is not limited to):

·         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 participating in a Title IX investigation, if you choose

·         Support and advocacy for academic and housing options

·         Assistance for significant others and friends of victim/survivors of gender/based violence

Services through the victim advocate are available Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  To set up a time to speak with the 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.

The Victim Advocate provides private support. This means that talking with the 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 the 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 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 scheduled with the Victim 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.     The advocate will show you back to their office 

7.     You (the victim/survivor) have complete control of what you want to tell the advocate, and how long or often appointments go on for. Some folks need only one or two appointments to find the resources they need. Others may need longer term advocacy and support. There is no right or wrong way to utilize the Victim Advocate.

Additional Campus 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 October 18, 2022