Last fall, the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women awarded NIU’s Women’s Resource Center a grant to reduce domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on a college campus.
This award enabled the creation of Victim Advocacy Services (VAS)
The grant provided an opportunity for NIU to strengthen effective responses to violence against women and allowed the hiring of a full-time victim advocacy coordinator and a graduate assistant to provide advocacy and support to all students who have been impacted and/or victimized by such crimes.
Victim Advocacy Services provides survivor-centered services through enhancing awareness within the NIU community and presenting prevention and education programs to increase knowledge of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In addition, Victim Advocacy Services strives to strengthen security and investigation strategies in order to prevent and respond to these crimes on campus.
Awareness of these topics will assist in creating a culture and community that is open and willing to take a stand against domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
What does this mean for NIU students?
Through confidential, free and individualized attention, Victim Advocacy Services provides survivors with referral services and assistance that are coordinated to fit their needs.
- VAS assists survivors to ensure that they are supported to continue their educational journey.
- VAS provides collaborative opportunities with many on- and off-campus agencies and departments to give support and assistance to help students navigate through the reporting process if they choose to report the incidents.
VAS is the primary contact for students who are seeking advocacy and support.
Meanwhile, as a DeKalb community partner of the grant, local rape crisis center Safe Passage provides a 24-hour crisis hotline and medical and legal advocacy for the DeKalb County community, which includes NIU students. Safe Passage can be contacted at (815) 756-5228.
Where can students find Victim Advocacy Services?
Victim Advocacy Services is located in the Women’s Resource Center at the corner of Normal Road and Lincoln Highway.
Students seeking assistance can call (815) 753-0320 to speak with the Victim Advocacy Coordinator.