What is Advocacy?
The role of an advocate is to provide information, offer options and support clients in their decisions, whatever those decisions might be.
In Violence Prevention & Response, we work from the empowerment model, meaning, our clients are in control and their advocate acts only as a facilitator, sharing knowledge, giving choices and acting as a guide so that the person(s) impacted might find healing.
We welcome requests for advocacy from anyone on behalf of a survivor including friends, family, Residential Life staff, professors, administrators, and others.
We can also provide support to family members and friends. We know how hard it can be to know the best way to support a survivor while also taking care of yourself.
What is Empowerment?
Contrary to what rape culture might suggest, sexual violence is not rooted in sexual desire, lust, or uncontrollable biological urges.
Sexual violence is about power and control.
When someone experiences sexual violence, they are denied the ability to exert control over their own body, the power to enforce their own boundaries, and the basic necessity of maintaining a sense of safety and well-being.
Empowerment means helping the survivor reestablish their sense of control and agency.
Empowerment in advocacy can look like:
- helping the survivor to recognize their own strengths and capabilities
- helping the survivor find the information necessary to make their own, informed decisions
- encouraging the survivor to take actions they feel comfortable with, on whatever timeline they think is best
VPR as a service works from a place of empowerment in order to give control and choice back to the survivor.