Meet the Advocate

What is An Advocate?

The victim advocate at Grand Valley State University is a professional staff person who has participated in extensive training on trauma informed care and on supporting victim/survivors. Their role is to provide nonjudgmental, private support to student survivors of gender-based violence.  Advocates will not release personally identifiable information without consent. Their role is to help students navigate options and services on campus and in the community.  Access to an advocate after gender-based violence can play a critical role in the healing process of a victim/survivor. 

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, they can provide private 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, including evidence collection
  • Support with Personal Protection Orders
  • Assistance in reporting to the police, if you choose
  • Navigating university resolution processes, if you choose
  • Support with academic and housing options
  • Assistance for friends of victim/survivors

How Can I Schedule an Appointment?

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

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

Who can call an advocate?

Any Grand Valley State University community member can call an advocate. Victim/survivors can call on their own, or someone can call on their behalf. 

What Can I Expect?

Advocates provide private support. 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 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 
  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 an 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. 

Page last modified October 9, 2023