The Student Victim Advocate (SVA) is a confidential resource housed within Counseling & Psychologycal Services who provides information, support and advocacy to students who may be victims or survivors of crime, violence and/or abuse.

The Student Victim Advocate strives to treat victims with compassion and respect, and provides education and training to the Pacific Community. 

Our Services

The Student Victim Advocate may be one of the first people to reach out to you after a traumatic experience. During this critical time, you might experience a wide range of emotions and/or physical sensations. The advocate can help you in the following ways:

  • Emotional support.
  • Provide information / resources.
  • Help with referrals to:
    • Academic support
    • Temporary or permanent on-campus housing
    • Mental health support
    • Physical health support
    • Student Conduct
    • Title IX

    • Public Safety reporting
  • Accompany you to meetings with law enforcement, student conduct, court hearings and/or medical centers.
  • Assist you in filing a report with law enforcement, student conduct and/or Title IX, if/when you are ready to do so.
    • Our program is independent of the police. Police reports are encouraged; however, reports are not required for information and referral assistance.
  • Explore options for a restraining order.

Victim's Bill of Rights

  • To be free of intimidation
  • To receive notification of judicial proceedings
  • To be present at hearings accompanied by a victim advocate
  • To have emotional and physical support
  • To be told of services within the community
  • To be treated with respect and dignity

Who is a Victim?

A victim is a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional or financial harm as a result of an act by someone else, which is a crime.

Types of Victimization

Sexual Misconduct is an umbrella term that includes any non-consensual sexual activity that is committed by force or fear or mental or physical incapacitation, including through the use of alcohol or drugs. Sexual misconduct can vary in its severity and consists of a range of behavior, including rape, statutory rape (sexual contact with a person under 18 years old), sexual touching, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, and conduct suggestive of attempting to commit any of the aforementioned acts.

Engaging in any sexual activity, clear consent must be given.

Rape

  • Rape is the sexual penetration (however slight) of the victim’s vagina, mouth, or rectum without consent.
  • Rape involves penetration with:
    • (a) the use of force/fear or the threat of force/fear; or
    • (b) with a person who is otherwise incapable of giving consent, including situations where the individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and this condition was or should have reasonably been known to the accused.

Sexual Touching

  • Sexual touching, also known as sexual battery, is the act of making unwanted and sexually offensive contact (clothed or unclothed) with an intimate body part of another person or action, which causes immediate apprehension that sexual touch will occur.
  • Intimate body parts include sexual organs, the anus, the groin, breasts or buttocks of any person. Sexual touching includes situations in which the accused engages in the contacts described with a person who is incapable of giving consent.

Sexual Exploitation

  • Sexual exploitation is the taking advantage of a non-consenting person or situation for personal benefit or gratification or for the benefit of anyone other than the alleged victim; and the behavior does not constitute rape, sexual touching or sexual harassment. Sexual exploitation includes, but is not limited to:
    • Photographing or making audio or video recordings of sexual activity without consent;
    • Dissemination of images or recordings without consent of the participant(s);
    • Allowing others to observe sexual activity without the knowledge or consent of the partner;
    • Voyeurism (peeping tom);
    • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection or HIV to another student;
    • Prostituting another person; and/or 
    • Giving alcohol or other drugs to another student with the intention of rending them incapable of giving consent.

Sexual Harassment

  • Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual conduct or behavior that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment. A comprehensive list of prohibited behaviors can be found in the Tiger Lore.

Stalking

  • Stalking is prohibited.
  • It is willful, malicious and repeated following of a person or harassing behaviors against another person, putting the person in reasonable fear for his or her personal safety, or the safety of his or her family.
    • This includes use of notes, mail, gifts, communication technology (e.g. voicemail, text messages, internet and social networking sites - using any electronic or telecommunication is also known as cyber-stalking) to harass or convey a threat. This offense may also be treated as a type of sexual misconduct in certain situations.

Physical Assault/Battery

  • Physical assault or battery is prohibited. It is to touch or strike a person against their will or to threaten violence against that person.

Dating/Relationship/Domestic Violence

  • Dating/Relationship/Domestic Violence is prohibited.
  • This type of violence may be emotional, verbal, physical and/or sexual abuse by an intimate partner, family members or parties in a dating relationship.

Theft

  • Theft is the unlawful and unauthorized removal of any personal property for ones own use.

Threat of Harm

  • Conveyances of threats, which result in, or may result in, harm to any person by willful and deliberate means is prohibited.

For other types of crimes, please contact the Department of Public Safety at 209.946.2537.

Many crimes involve the use of force or violence against victims. Victims of crime may experience many physical, cognitive, and emotional reactions as a result of the victimization. Reactions to trauma vary from person to person and can last for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. Every victim's reaction will be different, and it is important to not use their reaction or lack thereof as a biase for judging the impact of their trauma. 

Here is a list of a few of the most common reactions a victim may experience.

Physical Reactions:

  • Headaches
  • Stress related illnesses, such as nausea, diarrhea, and hives
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Hyperactivity
  • Lethargy
  • Changes to ones appetite
  • Lowered immunity
  • Alcohol/Drug dependence

Cognitive Reactions

  • Decline in academics
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory loss of the event
  • Flashbacks of the event

Emotional Reactions

  • Anger or rage
  • Terror
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Emotional numbness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feelings of helplessness

These reactions are considered normal after experiencing a traumatic event. There are many other reactions that are not listed.

You do not have to go through the healing process alone. If you are experiencing any of these reactions, seek help from Counseling Services (209.946.2315 x2).

Preventing Victimization

We can all be victims of crime, but we can protect ourselves as well. It only takes a few seconds, but even you can become the victim of a crime, which can leave you feeling vulnerable, confused, physically injured, and/or mentally traumatized. 

Reducing Your Risk

Crimes can happen almost anywhere, at all times of day, and to just about anyone. While the criminal justice system plays a role in preventing victimization through police patrols, neighborhood watch programs, public media campaigns, and community anti-gang violence programs, you are also a good resource for protecting yourself.

Protecting Your Living Space & Car

Here are a few tips to stay safe at home and in your car, as well as protect your valuables in these places:

  • Don't open the door for people unless you are expecting them.
  • Don't sleep with windows open if they are easy to access from outside the house.
  • If possible, install security cameras at your front and back doors to monitor activity around the house.
  • If possible, install an alarm system and put a sign in your yard indicating that the house is monitored.
  • Ensure that your entryways are well lit; consider using sensor lights that are activated by movement.
  • Use peep holes on your doors so you can look outside without opening the door.
  • Lock doors and windows when you leave the house.
  • Leave lights on when you are not home; set timers on lights if you will be gone for extended periods of time.
  • If you live in an apartment complex, do not buzz people in unless you know and are expecting them.
  • Don't investigate loud noises (such as breaking glass) yourself; call the police to have them investigate.
  • Avoid using your full name on your mailbox.
  • Carry a hand-held flashlight with you to navigate dark hallways.
  • Lock car doors and keep valuables out of your vehicle.
  • When driving, make sure doors are locked, especially at stoplights.
  • If someone hits your car, pull over to a safe place to assess the damage and keep your keys with you.

Protecting Yourself Against Sexual Assault

Unfortunately, most sexual assaults are perpetrated by an attacker the victim knows, including friends, relatives, and authority figures, such as professors or work supervisors. The best way to protect yourself is to use your head. Be assertive. Make sure you communicate your desires and limits clearly.

  • You always have the right to set sexual limits in any relationship.
  • Be wary of behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Trust your instincts.
    • If the behavior persists, leave and make sure you are not followed.
      • If you are followed, go to a public area.
    • If you feel you cannot comfortably leave, alert someone who you trust to the situation and ask them to keep an eye on you.
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol and other drugs in situations where you don't know and trust everyone.
  • Never accept drinks from anyone unless you see them being poured.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Do not assume that you are always safe.
  • Vary your routines whenever possible.
  • Try not to walk alone at night. If you must, walk in lighted areas. Walk at a steady pace and look confident.
  • Use the buddy system when going to parties.
  • If you are in danger, scream, make noise, blow a whistle, or create any other commotion you can think of.
  • Recognize when someone is too far under the influence to give consent.
  • It is never too late for someone to change their mind or say "no"; respect their right to do so.
  • An individual's attire or behavior is never the equivalent of coherent, verbal consetn.
  • Always ask permission before pursuing any action that may be unwanted or unwelcome.
  • If you feel you are too far under the influence to control your actions, remove yourself from the situation.
  • Alcohol and/or drug influence is never an excuse for sexual assault or rape.

Contact Us

Student Victim Advocate:

Marisela Oliva
209.403.0205
moliva@pacific.edu

Available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

24/7 Support:
209.946.2315 x3

Non-Emergency Public Safety:
209.946.2337

Emergency Public Safety:
209.946.3911

Counseling & Psychological Services:
209.946.2315 x2

Women's Center Youth & Family Services 24/7 Hotlines:

Domestic Violence: 209.465.4878

Sexual Assault: 209.465.4997

Human Trafficking: 209.948.1911