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Advocacy & Support

Gender-based Violence (GBV) Support

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a priority concern for the Women's Center. GBV includes but is not limited to sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and harassment. The Women’s Center offers the following free advocacy-based support services to students, faculty, and staff who have been impacted by GBV:

  • Trauma-informed, advocacy-based, short-term counseling and crisis management
  • Support and assistance for friends, family, and other impacted individuals
  • Information about forensic evidence collection, also known as a PERK, and other medical care resources
  • Assistance finding safe housing
  • Information about counseling options on-campus and in the local community
  • Academic support
  • Consultation services for faculty and staff about how to support students who disclose sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and/or any other form of gender-based violence
  • Information and accompaniment to the following University proceedings:
    • Title IX investigations/meetings
    • Student Conduct meetings
  • Information and accompaniment to the following Criminal/Civil proceedings:
    • Reporting to law enforcement
    • Criminal court proceedings
    • Obtaining protective orders

** The Women's Center does NOT give legal advice or serve as advisors in student conduct hearings, but can provide referrals to legal and advising services.

Scheduling an appointment

To meet the needs of our community, our support and advocacy services will be offered in-person and virtually this semester. Our services are available Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. To schedule a meeting with an advocate:

  • Call 540-231-7806 and ask to schedule an appointment 
  • E-mail and one of our advocates will respond as soon as possible.

The Women’s Center operates on the standard university schedule. We are open Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm, except for holidays and other times the university is closed.  

If you have an emergency or need to speak to someone immediately and the Women’s Center is closed, please contact the Women’s Resource Center of the NRV 24 –hour hotline at (540) 639-1123.

If your safety is in jeopardy, please call 911.

Upcoming Groups

Ebony Women of Excellence:  A support group for women that provides a safe community of peers that allows for authenticity, empathy, and relevant problem solving, specific to their experience as Black women.  Our mission is to empower, inspire, and liberate Black women so that they may thrive in their fullest expression of truth, power, and embodiment.  Join us for the next meeting on Tuesday, October 18th @ 6PM, Black Cultural Center in Squires.  This group is a collaborative effort of SOAR, Women's Center at Virginia Tech, and the Black Cultural Center.  For more information, you may contact Muriel Vinson or Shannon Alford of the Women's Center.

Support Group for VT Students hosted by the Women’s Resource Center of the NRV 
Thursdays @ 4-5PM
Lower- level of VT's Women Center (lower back entrance)

This group is gender-inclusive and focuses on trauma and secondary survivors as well.  The Point of Contact for the group is:

Tammy M. Blanding, MA, QMHP A/C
Adult Sexual Assault Counselor
Women's Resource Center of the New River Valley
Phone: 540-639-9592
24/7 Hotline: 540-639-1123

Meet the Support and Advocacy Team

Staff Member Title
Rebecca Jarvis Advocacy Coordinator
Muriel Vinson Advocacy Coordinator
Shannon Shastry  Assistant Director, Advocacy Services
Christine Dennis Smith Co-Director, Services
Paige Bik Assistant Director, Gender-Based Violence Prevention 

A note about confidentiality of services

The Women’s Center is here to provide a safe space and will make every effort to preserve our clients' privacy.  In certain situations, information may be shared with other university departments in order to assist survivors, to provide for the safety of survivors, and/or provide for the safety of the campus community.  If you have questions about confidentiality and privacy at the Women’s Center or other university departments, please contact us for further explanation.

The Women's Center is considered a "confidential resource" under Title IX and is not required to make a Title IX report to the university.