FAQ: CARE advocates

Who are CARE advocates and how can they help me?

CARE advocates work with student survivors of sexual violence, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking to provide confidential emotional support and assistance. In addition, advocates work with survivors to access campus resources such as psychological counseling, medical care, emergency housing, transportation and academic needs. 

If you have experienced sexual violence, advocates can explain your options for filing a formal report with law enforcement or the university — as well as the option not to report. If you choose to file a formal report, the advocate will help you navigate the reporting process and help coordinate services on your behalf with other agencies, including campus and community services and police. 

The CARE Advocate Office is student focused at most campuses. At some campuses, the CARE Advocate Office also provides confidential support to faculty and staff who have experienced sexual violence. 

To reach a CARE advocate now, visit our Get Help page. Advocacy services are available 24 hours a day.

Why were these CARE advocate positions created?

The advocate office, CARE: Advocate Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Misconduct, was created at every UC campus to provide dedicated, full-time support to survivors of sexual violence, both immediately and over the long term. These dedicated offices ensure that survivors can reach an advocate whose sole responsibility is to support their needs. 

The advocate office, which launched systemwide in January 2015, is one of seven recommendations from the President’s Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault.

What issues can I talk to a CARE advocate about?

CARE advocates are trained to address sexual violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence.

Will my personal information, such as my name and what happened, be confidential?

Yes. The CARE advocates are a confidential resource, which means personally identifiable information, such as your name or address, will not be disclosed to the campus or law enforcement without your consent.

Is talking to a CARE advocate the same as filing a formal report?

No. Your CARE advocate can explain your reporting options — including the option not to report — but speaking with the advocate about your options does not constitute filing an official report or complaint with the university. Filing a report is a different step and if you choose to report, the campus advocate can connect you with the appropriate office and support you during the reporting process.

Can I bring a friend with me to speak with a CARE advocate?

Yes. You can bring a family member, friend or colleague with you. The CARE advocate can explain issues related to confidentiality and privilege of information, even when other people are present.

If I experienced sexual violence off-campus or before I enrolled at UC, can I talk to the CARE advocate?

Yes. The CARE advocate is available to help any undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled at UC, regardless of whether the sexual violence occurred on or off campus. In addition, we understand that some people may have experienced sexual violence in the past and may be seeking support. Your campus advocate can talk to you about resources, including helping you access trained psychological counselors and local support groups.

If I’m a faculty or staff member, can I talk to the CARE advocate?

Faculty and staff who want help or guidance on handling a student report of sexual violence can contact the campus CARE advocate.

If you are a faculty member, other academic appointee or staff member who has experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment, trained professionals on your campus offer confidential counseling and can also connect you with additional campus resources. Faculty members may contact their local Title IX officer (sexual harassment officer) to file a complaint or the Academic Personnel Office to understand their academic rights. Staff employees may file a complaint with their Human Resources Office or Title IX Office.