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Advocacy Services

The PEACE Center provides confidential advocacy support to students, faculty and staff who have experienced issues related to sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence and/or stalking situations.

What does an advocate do?

Campus advocates provide comprehensive services to address physical, emotional and academic needs of the survivor with an end state in mind: to heal and prevent further violence. Advocates utilize a trauma-informed approach to support the survivor’s growth and autonomy through collaboration and survivor-led decision making. While giving direct services to students, faculty, and staff advocates use a variety of clinical lenses and frameworks to understand the root cause of the situation and prepare for determined outcomes.

When meeting with an advocate they will walk you through the process of creating an individualized plan to help you address your personal needs as they relate to the situation. This plan can include immediate crisis intervention, safety planning, identifying strengths to manage emotional responses, reviewing reporting options both on campus and off among a number of other referrals and resources they can get you connected to for help.

Regardless of the complexity of your situation the advocate is there to assist you with identifying your needs and managing complex challenges. Students are not required to make a report to law enforcement nor EOS/ Title IX services to receive advocacy support at the PEACE Center. Reporting options will be reviewed with you if they are viable options to address your situation however the choice to move forward with reporting is led by the student, the Advocate is available to help you know and understand your options and make informed choices.

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Advocacy Involves

  • Using active listening skills
  • Providing emotional support, validation, empathy, and empowerment
  • Providing information and education about effects of trauma
  • Providing assistance with developing coping skills and trigger plans
  • Assessing need for and assisting with physical or emotional safety planning
  • Providing information and options so that each survivor can make the best choices for themselves
  • Assisting with access to culturally rooted healing practices
  • Assisting the survivor in navigating systems and asserting their rights and needs in systems such as healthcare, education, and legal
  • Recognizing the survivor as the best expert on their experience and using approaches and techniques reflective of the survivor’s self-identified needs
  • Reviewing and explaining survivor’s rights
  • Affirming a survivor’s strengths and resources
  • Providing advocacy in multiple settings, prioritizing where the survivor feels safe and comfortable
  • Availability by scheduled appointment or drop in, including immediate support (commonly known as crisis intervention) and case management throughout investigative processes.
  • Provision of services by a trained advocate or advocate counselor

Initial Meeting

During your initial meeting with an advocate you can expect to review and complete information pertaining to confidentiality, consent forms, releases of information as needed as well as a short intake. The goal of the initial meeting is for you and the advocate to discuss your needs and concerns and identify the best course of action. You may actually resolve your concerns during the initial intake appointment and require no further action, however our staff is here to assist you with education and prevention strategies to prevent problems from resurfacing and eliminate subsequent incidents from reoccurring.

Common Frameworks

  • Anti-oppression and Empowerment models
  • Systems perspective
  • Feminist Theory
  • Holistic approach
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Relational Cultural Theory
  • Survivor-Focused services

Confidentiality

All identifiable information relating to a client including the client’s identity, demographic information, physical or mental health condition, the services the client received, and or future services the client will receive, will remain confidential and will not be shared with others outside of the PEACE Center without prior written permission or as required by law. The law in the State of Texas mandates that information may be appropriately shared if you disclose that there is a threat of imminent harm to yourself or others when there is an indication of child abuse or neglect of a minor or vulnerable adult. UTSA PEACE Center reserves the right to refuse advocacy services to anyone if the services are not deemed appropriate to meet their needs.

Here is a list of direct services the advocate can assist with you

  • Initial Assessment
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Safety Planning
  • Review of reporting options
  • Emotional Support
  • Case Management
  • Referrals and Resources
  • Secondary Prevention Strategies
  • Accompaniment to meetings and interviews, as needed.