Role of an Advocate

Who can be an advocate?

  • Family member, friend or a person from an advocacy service.
  • The CARE Team is an on-campus resource that serves as an advocate for student victims. Visit the Dean of Students Case Management page for contact information and referral and response advice.
  • The Crime Victims Assistance Center (CVAC) is an off-campus advocacy service. It can be reached at 607-722-4256 or by making an appointment with the on-campus CVAC representative at the VARCC.

Role of advocates


  • Listens to, believes, emotionally supports and acts in the best interests of the victim.
  • Respects the victim and does what's possible to make the victim comfortable.
  • Does not judge the victim or their lifestyle.
  • Acts as the spokesperson for the victim if and when they cannot do so, with family, friends, professionals, etc.


  • Explains the advocate role, the systems and the processes that apply in each situation.
  • Offers choices and explains options to the victim and supports their decisions.
  • Informs victims of relevant, available services in the community.
  • Assists with various forms of safety planning.
  • Helps victims understand the roles of other professionals.
  • Educates victims about Crime Victims' compensation.

Be present

  • Assures that victims are treated fairly and in accordance with their rights in New York state.
  • Provides accompaniment to court, police stations, hospitals, appointments, etc., as needed and wanted.
  • Is present and/or nearby at court, police stations, hospitals, etc., in order to advocate for the victim.
  • Acts as a liaison between the victim, other professionals and other systems.
  • Educates other professionals to the role of the victim advocate.
  • Does not confront other professionals in a way that could further traumatize the victim.