FAQs About Advocacy

  • What is Advocacy?

    Advocacy can be defined as the active support of or speaking on behalf of a person, group or cause. It involves assisting people to speak up for themselves and making sure that their ideas and opinions are heard and understood. An advocate is someone who walks alongside a survivor on their path towards healing, empowering them to choose each next step as they want, rather than intervening to tell them what they should or shouldn't do. 

    Some forms advocacy can take include:

    • Medical accompaniment to the Davison Health Center or Middlesex Hospital during office hours
    • Support services and accompaniment to campus meetings with Office of Equity & Inclusion, WesWell, Public Safety, etc.
    • Accompaniment to reporting at Middletown Police and/or Public Safety
    • Referrals to CAPS, WesWell, Davison Health Center, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Office of Equity and Inclusion, or other community agencies as needed for individuals.
    • Collaborate with community organizations and campus offices as necessary in advocating for trauma-sensitive policies and services throughout the university.
    • Additional advocacy and support in accessing other options and resources as defined survivors.
  • How is Advocacy Different from Counseling?

    Advocacy is a resource for support and exploring options, and then support in accessing those options as needed, without a clinical approach. Advocates take a trauma-informed, survivor-centered approach, rather than using therapeutic techniques for clinical mental health treatment. An advocate can be a "sounding board" for questions and concerns about reporting, support options, and providing information on other resources, so that a survivor can make an informed decision about what resource feels best for them. 

    Counseling is a resource for exploring feelings regarding an experience of interpersonal violence, it's repercussions, and developing tools and techniques for self-care and overall wellness. It is a clinical, therapeutic intervention, offered for survivors on an on-going basis to explore or of the "why" of how they are feeling, rather than getting information regarding their options for support and healing. 

  • What Can I Expect from Meeting with the SACE Director or SACE Intern?

    Meeting with the SACE Director can be an opportunity for you to confidentially ask questions, explore options, and get information about how you'd like to explore your path towards healing. You don't have to share all of the details of your experience to still access resources and explore your options. 

    Meeting with the SACE Intern would be an opportunity to get information and explore options, from a peer perspective. Since the SACE Intern is a Wes student, it may feel more comfortable to start asking questions from a peer first. The SACE Intern is not confidential. The SACE Intern will take care to respect your privacy, and will also discuss with the SACE Director any disclosures of sexual assault, dating violence, sexual harassment, or stalking they hear.

    You have the right to feel safe and supported on campus, and meeting with the SACE Director or SACE Intern could be an opportunity to explore what you need to feel safe and supported here.

  • What is the difference between "Confidential" and "Non-Confidential" Resources?

    Confidential Campus Resources will not share details of your narrative, and have to submit a Confidential Crime Report (which is de-identified and only mentions the type of experience, not the details). This form is for data collection purposes, required by the Clery Act. 

    Non-Confidential Campus Resources are Responsible Employees at Wesleyan. If they receive disclosures, they are required to contact Debbie Colucci in the Office for Equity & Inclusion, sharing identifying information and the nature of the conversation; however, this does not start an investigation. It results in a follow-up e-mail sent to the student who made the disclosure, outlining resources for care and support on campus and in the community. 

  • What are the SACE Director's Office Hours?

    The SACE Director is available by appointment from 9 am - 5 pm Monday-Friday during the semester. Individuals can drop by if they want during these times, the SACE Director may not always be available. If she is in her office and not seeing a student, she can meet with you, but it is not guaranteed you'll be seen right away. 

    Scheduling an appointment over email is the best way to ensure that when you feel comfortable going to the SACE Office, you are able to be seen and get the support you need. Whether it is support for yourself or asking questions on behalf of someone else, please contact the SACE Director to set up a time to meet. 

    The SACE Director is also neither on-call nor available 24/7 via e-mail or otherwise. If you e-mail outside of business hours, she will follow-up as soon as possible or the very next business day at the latest. If you are in need of emergency support, consider contacting CAPS on-call therapist, the Women & Families Center Hotline, or New Horizons Hotline outside of business hours.

  • Do I Have to Identify as a Survivor to Contact the SACE Office?

    No. You do not have to identify as a survivor, victim, victim-survivor, or other identity connected to having experienced sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and/or sexual harassment to access resources through the SACE Office.

    If you or someone you know has experienced any of these types of violence, you are welcome to come in and explore what your options for support are, and what information is out there for supporting the person in your life navigating these experiences. We can talk about resources, information about the campus processes, or any other questions you may have about supporting others who identify as survivors or starting a personal path towards healing as a survivor yourself.

    In addition, if you're interested in getting involved in activism surrounding interpersonal violence prevention issues, the SACE Office could be a good place to start to understand what's out there as well.

  • Is the SACE Office only for Students?

    The Advocacy Services provided by the SACE office are a resource only available to Wesleyan students. If faculty and staff are looking for advocacy services or support, consider contacting an off-campus resourceDebbie Colucci, the Ombudsperson, or an HR Representative

    If faculty and/or staff have questions about their role as Responsible Employees, the SACE Director (as well as Debbie Colucci in the Office for Equity and Inclusion) can provide guidance on this.

    Community Education & Training Programs are available for students, staff, and faculty. If you'd like to schedule a training or workshop, please fill out either the SACE Office Training Request Form or the SACE Office Workshop Request Form two weeks in advance of the request date.

  • Why Don't You Work with "Respondents" or "Alleged Perpetrators"?

    To maintain the integrity of trauma-informed, survivor-centered, advocacy services, these resources are only available to individuals whom identify as survivors. This is to ensure there is no conflict of interest, should both parties reach out for advocacy support.

    Trauma-informed, survivor-centered advocacy services means supporting survivors without question and holding their narrative in recounting the traumatic event as the only truth. Working with individuals whom the survivor identifies as doing harm to them, compromises this process.

    For individuals whom have been identified as respondents or alleged perpetrators, accessing Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), meeting with Debbie Colucci, or your Class Dean are some appropriate referrals and/or next steps.