Students attending colleges and universities across the United States are overwhelmingly affected by campus sexual violence. Research finds that between one in four and one in five female students will at some time during their college career experience campus sexual assault (Muehlenhard et al., 2017; Krebs et al., 2016; Cantor et al., 2015; The White House 2014). Although the sexual assault itself is traumatizing, students may also experience psychological responses such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, fear and guilt, mood disorders, and more (Deisinger, 2017). In addition to such responses, students are further impacted by social factors such as victim blaming in which places the blame and responsibility of the assault on victims and survivors themselves. For this reason, the position of campus-based advocates plays a crucial role in addressing the aftermath of experiencing campus sexual assault. Campus-based advocates have the ability to empower and support students who have experienced campus sexual assault while also providing them with resources and options for reporting (Brubaker, 2019). In addition to providing advocacy, campus-based advocates also have the unique opportunity to educate and bring further awareness of campus sexual assault to the wider campus community. The purpose of this thesis is to determine the perception and need for campus-based advocates on university campuses as evidenced by campus-based advocates themselves. This study will seek to assess the value of campus-based advocates from the perspective of a feminist lens intent upon supporting the awareness and experiences of student victims and survivors of sexual violence. Furthermore, several frameworks will be examined in order to situate the value of campus-based advocates such as the Trump administration’s proposals to Title IX, barriers experienced and the absence of advocates on college campuses. Qualitative research is utilized in order to interview campus-based advocates through semi-structured processes with the aim of providing this unique perspective.


Maria Bevacqua

Committee Member

Ana Perez

Committee Member

Laura Schultz

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Social and Behavioral Sciences



Rights Statement

In Copyright