WHAT IS ADVOCACY?
Advocates are available to provide confidential crisis intervention and emotional support through the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. Advocates in the office are full time staff members dedicated to working with students who have experienced trauma. We provide information about academic, legal, medical, emotional, and student conduct resources to survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking. We also offer support to secondary survivors, such as intimate partners, friends, family, and you. Our advocates are here to serve people, no matter how they identify. We serve cisgender and transgender people. We serve people who identify as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer.
The 24-hour Victim Assistance Team is available to assist survivors of interpersonal violence and their loved ones 24/7/365. Call 970-492-4242 and ask to speak with an advocate. Advocates are also available for drop-ins or scheduled appointments during business hours at 112 Student Services. All information shared with advocates is confidential unless the person is a danger to themselves, someone is in imminent danger, a child currently under 18 has been abused or if the perpetrator is currently in a position of power over minors (even if the survivor is over the age of 18).
More About Advocacy
Reporting to Law Enforcement
Are you unsure if you want to report to police? Do you have questions about the reporting process? Advocates can help you with a decision to report law enforcement. They can also talk though your reporting options, determine which police department you would report to, support you in court or when meeting with a detective, set up a time for you to begin the reporting process, and answer any questions you may have about process.
Reporting to the University
Are you thinking about reporting to the University but are unsure who to report to? Wondering if you report to the University, does that mean you have to report to police? Are you curious what happens next since you told your RA or a professor about what happened to you, and they made a report to the University? Advocates can help in determining which university office you would to report to, support you when making a report, inform you of your participation options in the process, set up a meeting so that you can make your initial report, and be there with you throughout the process. They can also help you navigate the process if you shared your story with a non-confidential university employee and they had to report to the university.
Providing Academic Resources
Are you struggling in classes or having a hard time focusing on your homework? Are you worried because your perpetrator is in the same class as you? Are you concerned about your financial aid or scholarship? Are you worried about your visa? Advocates can help you identify options for navigating your classes, provide letters of support to your professors, connect you to other academic resources, and help with class or university withdrawal options.
Discussing Medical Care
Are you unsure if you should go to the hospital? Are you worried about STI’s or pregnancy? Advocates can explain the SANE exam (also known as a rape kit), and can meet you at the hospital. They can also help connect you to resources university and community resources for medical care, and discuss resources that may help pay for medical expenses.
Discussing Housing Resources
Do you feel unsafe where you live? Do you need emergency housing? Advocates can help you find emergency housing, create a safety plan, as well as talk through other options you may have with housing.
Orders of Protection
Is your abuser still contacting you after you have asked them to stop? Are you not interested in reporting to the police, but do want a protection order? Advocates can support you though the process of filing and necessary paperwork for protection orders, go with you to any court hearings, as well as get you connected to legal resources.
Support Group for Survivors of Interpersonal Violence
A support group for survivors of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, relationship violence, and/or stalking. This group meets on Friday afternoons from 4:00-4:50pm while the semester is in session. Space is created for students to process their experiences, discuss coping strategies, and learn more about how to manage the impact of trauma. There are no structured topics discussed each week, but themes do often arise during each group session. CSU students of any gender identity or expression who identify as a survivor of interpersonal violence are welcome to attend after a brief consultation with one of our advocates. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Body & the Mind: A Group for Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma
Trauma can be an overwhelming experience both emotionally and psychologically. When our minds cannot understand or process experiences, they often stay with us in our bodies. Yoga, breathwork, and mindfulness-based practices can provide treatment beyond talk therapy helping to alleviate the body’s experience of trauma. This is an 8-week group providing mindfulness skills, movement, and a space for survivors of interpersonal violence to explore the ways trauma manifests in the body. Participants will learn mindfulness techniques to work with anxiety, post-traumatic symptoms, and depression– observing experiences in the body, and noticing them as they change. Each week will include a short practice of yoga, meditation, and/or breathwork, as well as time for processing together as a group. Students of any gender and ability level are encouraged to join. The group is free of charge, and will run for 8 weeks during the Spring 2019 semester, Tuesdays from 3:30pm – 4:45pm. Interested individuals can contact email@example.com for more information.
Secondary Survivors Workshop
This workshop is available for partners, family and friends of gender based violence survivors. In this workshop we’ll be covering topics from how trauma affects the brain to how you can best support your loved one to how vicarious trauma can impact support systems. This is a 3 hour workshop that is offered a few times a semester. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in more information or to be put on a list for our next workshop.
Please be aware that internet use can easily be monitored. If you are in danger, do not use a computer that can be accessed by someone who is abusive.
If you are viewing the Women & Gender Advocacy Center’s website and need to quickly get to an unrelated site, click the “escape” button.
If you are unable to use a safe computer, be sure to clear your internet browser history. Click the following links to find out how to clear your internet browser history for your browser:
To prevent your browser from logging your history the next time you use the internet, use incognito mode on your browser. Here’s how to open an incognito tab, depending on your browser:
- Google Chrome: Press Ctrl+Shift+N
- Mozilla Firefox: Click the menu button and then click New Private Window.
- Internet Explorer: Press Ctrl+Shift+P
- Safari: Press Command+Shift+N
OTHER WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF WHEN USING TECHNOLOGY
Abusers could have access to your email account(s). To be safe, open an email account your partner does not know about on a safe computer and use that account for safety planning and sensitive communications. It is a good idea to keep your monitored account active with non-critical emails in order to maintain appearances.
Cell phones can be a beacon, tracking your exact location in real time. Call and text history can also be retrieved by an abusive partner. Additionally, a location tracking device (GPS) can be placed on your car or in your purse. Consider purchasing a pay as you go phone that you keep in a safe place to allow you to make calls.
Only post things you want the public to see or know. Once it’s online, it’s no longer under your control. Be protective of your personal information. Your phone numbers and addresses enable people to contact you directly, and things like your birth date, the schools you attended, your employer and photos with landmarks may make it easier for someone to find where you live, hang out or go to school. Keep your passwords private – there is no need to share passwords to social media accounts with anyone. If you have a friend in an abusive relationship, DO NOT post information about them without getting their permission. You could jeopardize their safety.