Become an Advocate
Are you interested in becoming a confidential advocate for our students?
Loyola University Chicago believes in supporting survivors of gender-based violence on campus and creating an environment where students feel comfortable coming forward to report or seek services. Loyola has had an advocacy program in place since 2009, to help students/loved ones navigate reporting options and support services. Graduate students, rising juniors, and rising seniors are being sought as volunteer advocates to ensure we continue to provide this vital service. Please contact the Wellness Center for further information.
An advocate is someone who has received specific training to respond to a person who has experienced the trauma of sexual assault or other gender-based violence. Advocates support the survivor, listen, offer information and options, connect the survivor to resources, and advocate for respectful and appropriate treatment of the survivor. Advocates must be able to respond empathetically to a survivor’s emotional needs and allow the survivor to make their own decisions. Advocates must also be self-aware and emotionally prepared to respond to the trauma of others.
Research has shown that the way in which the concerns of a survivor of sexual assault are addressed as soon as possible after an assault has a tremendous impact on how quickly and completely the survivor recovers. When the survivor is met with empathy and unconditional support, recovery is likely to happen more completely and more rapidly.
Advocates will be trained in the spring through enrollment in the WSGS 397/497 class: Sexual Assault Advocacy. Advocates will then serve the following academic year.
The training takes place as a course for credit through the Women and Gender Studies department and is offered in the spring. For more information about the class, please visit: http://bit.ly/wsgs397
Volunteer Advocates will be expected to complete the WSGS course, Sexual Assault Advocacy, and ongoing training through the Wellness Center. Advocates will serve on-call for one to three weekends during each semester on a rotating basis. The weekend begins on Friday evening and ends on Monday morning. Advocates respond via phone only. The Line is closed during major holidays/school breaks. Advocates will also be expected to communicate regularly with the Wellness Center and attend monthly meetings. Advocates will be key members of the response here at Loyola and will receive ongoing support and supervision from Wellness Center staff.
In addition to making a difference in the lives of students, advocates will gain significant, relevant experience for a future career in Student Affairs or social services. Advocates will develop advanced communication skills that would be useful in any field.