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voices against violence

Advocacy and Survivor's Emergency Fund

VAV Survivor's Emergency Fund

Voices Against Violence (VAV) Survivor's Emergency Fund provides financial assistance to student survivors of sexual violence, relationship violence, and/or stalking, towards the aim of increasing that student's safety, coping, and independence. The fund was started in 2001 and has been supported entirely via individual contributions. Accessing the fund provides two important messages to survivors of interpersonal violence:
  • We believe them.
  • No one should have to pay for expenses related to an experience of violence that was not their fault.

If you or someone you know would like more information about how to access the Fund, please contact the Counseling and Mental Health Center to schedule an appointment with a VAV counselor by calling (512) 471-3515.

Type of Expenses Covered

The range of circumstances and services that may warrant assistance from the Survivors Emergency Fund varies greatly. Typical expenses that may be covered include, but are not limited to:
  • Any safety related needs (i.e. changing locks on a vehicle or home, getting an unlisted telephone number or alternate cell phone, etc.)
  • Costs related to medical care, including expenses related to a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam
  • One-time assistance with rent and/or utilities
  • Transportation
  • Assistance with legal fees related to abuse and divorce, custody, or immigration issues
  • Temporary childcare fees
  • Storage and moving fees
  • Payment to and from an out-of-town shelter or other safe space
  • Books, fees, or other school-related expenses
  • Financial bars with the University

Eligibility

Students eligible for Survivors Emergency Fund assistance must meet the following requirements:
  • Be a currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • Have experienced some form of interpersonal violence (sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking) that has compromised that student's current safety, coping, and/or independence.

Voices Against Violence (VAV) Advocacy

A VAV Advocacy appointment is a confidential meeting meant to provide a student who has experienced sexual violence, dating or relationship violence and/or stalking with information about their rights and options. This informational appointment assists survivors in identifying which choices make the most sense for them and are typically thirty minutes long. All VAV Advocacy appointments are held in the Counseling and Mental Health Center, on the 5th floor of the SSB during business hours (8am-5pm, M-F). CMHC appointments, including VAV Advocacy, are confidential and not part of the academic record. Students seeking VAV advocacy do not need to disclose the details of their experience in order to access support.

Survivors' needs may change over time and decision making is an ongoing process. However, we recognize that some decisions are time-sensitive such as choosing to obtain a sexual assault exam. Survivors are encouraged to consult with a VAV advocate to make informed choices. VAV believes that no one is at fault for their experience of harm or violence. We want survivors to be fully informed of their rights and options both on and off campus. The goal of VAV Advocacy is to empower a survivor to make the choices that work best for them. There is no expectation that a survivor will choose to report or to seek counseling. Some survivors may choose to attend multiple advocacy appointments to assess their needs and options, while others may choose to not access any additional options. VAV supports the right of survivors to make decisions free from judgment.

Topics covered in these sessions may include:

  • Medical concerns
  • Reporting options and procedures, both to the University and to law enforcement
  • UT administrative options through UT Austin Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
  • Legal options, including criminal and civil law (Please note that VAV does not offer legal advice, but we can refer to free legal services for survivors.)
  • Obtaining an order of protection
  • Safety planning
  • Financial resources, including access to the VAV Survivors Emergency Fund
  • Counseling options, both short and long-term, on or off campus
  • Accompaniment to appointments on campus, or connecting with an advocate from SAFE Alliance for appointments off-campus

Learn More

Sexual Violence
Dating and Relationship Violence
Services for Survivors
Common Reactions
Stalking
Taking Care of Yourself
Reporting Options
Concerns Related to Identity
Risk Reduction



UT Counseling and Mental Health Center

UT Counseling and Mental Health Center Voices Against Violence
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