Transforming Victim Advocacy to Co-Advocacy

with Ashley Schulte, Jessica Jennrich

About This Course

In a compliance-centered strategy, the voice of the victim/survivor is often lost. An innovative advocacy program developed at Grand Valley State University re-centers the work on the student (as victim/survivor). In doing so, we faced genuine resistance, as well as promising success in meeting the ever-growing demands of disclosures on our campus. The Co-Advocate Program introduced non-traditional opportunities for safe disclosure spaces on campus that ultimately upheld compliance standards while focusing attention on the student-survivor experience. 

This live briefing will be a discussion-based presentation outlining the challenges, benefits, and implementation options for expanding victim/survivor advocacy options on a college campus. The session will begin with a description of an innovative program launched at Grand Valley State University in 2016, after months of negotiation, research, training, and preparation. The Co-Advocate Program utilizes a decentralized model, collaboration from on- and off-campus partners, and integrated communication to offer advocacy services beyond the role of a primary Victim Advocate without needing to increase personnel costs.

The presenters will provide a history of the launch of the Co-Advocate program which included navigating the following factors:

  • institutional atmosphere;
  • increase in student disclosures;
  • a swing of the pendulum towards a compliance-centered violence response approach;
  • the inherent challenges of having a single Victim Advocate; and
  • lack of role clarity between various offices doing violence prevention and response work.

Learning Outcomes

Participants in this live briefing will gain:

  • an understanding of the value of having multiple Victim Advocates in diverse locations;
  • tools for creating similar programs at participants colleges and universities; and
  • appreciation for the complexity of using a student-centered model in compliance based spaces.


This session is $149 for NASPA members, $220 for non-members. Pricing will be accurately reflected in your cart.

Accessing the Presentation

Once you complete your registration, you will be able to access the course by clicking on the "Login" button at the top of this page (or any page on

  • You will be asked to login with your NASPA user name and password. Once you have done so, you will hit continue and be redirected to your dashboard in the Online Learning Community.

  • You will find the session listed under "Enrolled."

  • This session is recorded. By clicking into, "Contents," you will find the session recording, resources, and PowerPoint slides. You may view the materials as many times as you'd like, at whatever pace you would like.

  • If you have any difficulty accessing the materials, please contact Jace Kirschner (

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