The Role of an Advocate


Who can be an Advocate?

  • Family member, friend, or a person from an advocacy service.
  • Beth Riley, the MA, LMSW, is an on-campus resource that serves as an advocate for student victims.  Visit the Dean of Students page for contact information and referral and response advice.
  • Crime Victim Awareness Center (CVAC) is an off-campus service that has advocates available.  They can be reached at 607-722-4256.


An Advocate...

  • Listens to, believes, emotionally supports, and acts in the best interests of the victim.
  • Respects the victim and do what you can to make them comfortable.
  • Does not judge the victim or their lifestyle
  • Is the spokesperson for the victim if and when they cannot do so, with family, friends, professionals, etc.
  • Assures that victims are treated fairly and in accordance with their rights in NYS


Inform on Services

  • Explain the advocate role, the systems, and the processes that apply in each situation.
  • Offer choices and explain options to the victim and support their decisions, even if you don't agree with them on a personal level — this will allow them to regain some sense of control.
  • Inform victims of relevant, available services in the community.
  • Assist with safety planning.
  • Help victims understand the roles of other professionals.
  • Educate victims about OVS compensation.


An Active Role

  • Provide accompaniment to court, police stations, hospitals, appointments, etc., as needed and wanted.
  • Be present and/or nearby at court, police stations, hospitals, etc., in order to advocate for the victim.
  • Act as a liaison between the victim, other professionals and other systems
  • Educate other professionals to the role of the victim advocate
  • Do not confront other professionals in a way that could further traumatize the victim.


Visit our Resources webpage for additional assistance.



Last Updated: 8/12/14